NORTHRIDGE, CA–(Marketwire – December 15, 2009) – Gamma Medica-Ideas, Inc. (“GMI”), a leading developer of digital molecular imaging systems, announced today that it has signed an exclusive license and commercialization agreement with Mayo Clinic to further develop and commercialize a suite of technologies invented by a team of Mayo physicians and scientists, headed by Michael O’Connor, PhD. The Company aims to utilize the licensed technology in conjunction with its Lumagem molecular breast imaging system to improve the diagnosis of cancers in women with dense breasts. An estimated 30% of women have dense breast tissue, which can impede diagnosis of abnormalities. Existing mammography and other screening techniques are at times either insufficient or very expensive diagnostic tools. Molecular breast imaging promises to be a cost-effective solution for these women.
Dr. Bradley Patt, CEO of GMI, said, “We are extremely pleased that Dr. O’Connor and his team at Mayo have chosen GMI to bring their important technology to market. This is very timely given the release of the US Preventative Task Force report on mammography. The underlying reason for the controversy in mammography is the fact that mammography has underserved groups of women such as the 40-50 year old age group, where higher breast density has rendered mammography much less effective. GMI’s LumaGEM system, now enhanced with Mayo’s technologies, will be a highly effective solution for such cases. The Mayo technologies, which have been under development and evaluation for the last 7 years, enable this procedure to be performed at a radiation dose comparable to a mammogram.”
The suite of technologies invented by Mayo Clinic enhance the existing capabilities of GMI’s LumaGEM dual headed imaging system through special image processing software algorithms and collimator and detector optimization techniques. The license also includes methods and devices developed at Mayo for combining next generation x-ray tomosynthesis techniques with molecular imaging of the breast. In initial clinical studies, the Mayo algorithms licensed to GMI yield better images at lower dose.
Funding from internal sources at Mayo, GMI, and the National Cancer Institute has been instrumental in moving the technology forward. Under an IRB approved screening study the technology is already showing promising results with just one-third of the standard dose of Tc-99m Sestamibi typically utilized in the procedure.
According to Dr. O’Connor, “Mayo is looking forward to the collaboration with GMI as we work together to bring this advanced technology to the health care industry. We have used GMI’s Lumagem technology combined with our inventions to successfully perform close to 2000 patient studies at Mayo over the past four years. We believe that the combination of GMI’s detector technology and the algorithms and techniques developed at Mayo, will enable us to achieve a significant reduction in the radiation dose required for molecular breast imaging, and increase the diagnostic utility of this technique.”
“Over the past few years the need for secondary imaging in breast cancer diagnosis has become obvious. Until now dedicated breast MRI has been useful in helping fill the void, and the number of MRI secondary breast imaging scans has quickly grown to almost 1 million per year,” according to Dr. Patt. “GMI’s LumaGEM product in conjunction with the Mayo technology offers accuracy rivaling MRI, with even better specificity and at a fraction of the cost. We are very excited about the possibility of utilizing this technology to deliver improved quality of care in women’s health at a lower cost to the healthcare system.”
About Gamma Medica-Ideas, Inc.
Gamma Medica-Ideas (GMI) designs, builds and services imaging systems based on novel technologies to improve patient health through early diagnosis of disease, improved patient treatment and by enabling new drug discovery. GMI is dedicated to leading medical imaging into a new digital era with its unique sensor readout systems. The company’s core digital imaging technologies also hold great promise for a new class of solutions for the safety and security markets. In the pre-clinical space, GMI’s FLEX Triumph™ imaging platform is marketed for medical research and drug development. The FLEX Triumph system combines PET (LabPET™), SPECT (X-SPECT®) and CT (X-O™) modalities in the world’s first tri-modality system. GMI’s pre-clinical imaging products are distributed exclusively by GE Healthcare globally and in Japan by SII NanoTechnology, a Seiko company. In the clinical space, GMI offers LumaGEM®, its dual-headed Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) based system for early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The digital gamma ray imaging technology in LumaGEM offers significant advances in resolution and contrast, which has allowed for identification of millimeter sized breast cancers missed by mammography, especially in women with dense breast tissue. Visit www.gm-ideas.com.
About Mayo Clinic’s Office of Intellectual Property
Mayo Clinic has one of the most highly evolved intellectual property and technology commercialization efforts in academic medicine, with a 20 plus year history of supporting Mayo’s mission. The Office of Intellectual Property at Mayo Clinic, serves as a bridge between discoveries and the marketplace. The Office works closely with Mayo physicians and scientists to evaluate and develop inventions, ideas and discoveries that have the potential to transform healthcare and generate income to support Mayo patient care, education and research. Mayo Clinic’s Office of Intellectual Property has filed more than 2,400 patents resulting in over 600 active patent-licensing agreements with industry.