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Orthopedic imaging company biospace med (Paris) has reported the closing of 112 million ($18 million) in venture capital financing, led by NBGI Ventures (London) and Cr dit Agricole Private Equity (Paris).

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (Paris) and UFG PE (Paris), current investors in the company, also have subscribed to the new financing round.

The company said that Infusion of new capital from these venture funds, combined with their strong expertise in the med-tech industry, will allow the worldwide market expansion of its EOS ultra-low-dose 2-D/3-D X-ray product.

"This is a quantum leap in technology for the orthopedic and imaging communities, which have been waiting for a solution to address their specific needs," said Marie Meynadier, president/CEO of biospace. "This new round of financing will accelerate the worldwide commercial deployment of EOS, which already is installed in several European countries and Canada." She added: "With the recent FDA approval to market EOS in the U.S., this financing package will accelerate our market penetration there as well."

EOS captures a whole or partial body image in a single scan without the need for any digital stitching, all using a reduced dose. The system also allows simultaneous bi-plane image acquisition (frontal and lateral).

Information submitted to the FDA in support of biospace med's U.S. marketing application demonstrated up to 10 times reduction in dose when compared with commercially available film systems, without compromising image quality.

The company said EOS also can also generate a 3-D skeletal reconstruction from the two simultaneously acquired planar images. It said the product also will feature automatic measurement software designed to calculate a variety of length and angle calculations between individual bones and joints, "potentially helping to evaluate global balance and posture."

EOS is based upon a patented particle detector technology for which Georges Charpak received the Nobel Prize in physics. Along with Charpak, Dr. Jean Dubousset, a noted French pediatric orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Gabriel Kalifa, professor and chairman of radiology at Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital (Paris), assisted in the design of EOS.

Charpak founded biospace med, which has headquarters in both Paris and Atlanta, and an additional office in Montreal.

Radiation trial launched for AMD

NeoVista (California) reported the first European patient treated in the company's pivotal global clinical trial for its beta radiation epiretinal therapy for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in the industrialized world for those over 50. Unlike the current standard of costly monthly eye injections, NeoVista therapy delivers a one-time dose of radiation providing a less invasive and potentially less costly option.

The procedure was performed as part of NeoVista's CNV Secondary to AMD Treated with BEta RaditioN Epiretinal Therapy (CABERNET) trial, which will enroll 450 patients (300 in the radiation treatment arm) at about 40 sites worldwide. Patients receive a single treatment with NeoVista therapy, in combination with an injection of Lucentis at the time of radiation delivery to maximize effect.

NeoVista's treatment "may provide us the ability to improve vision for the elderly and dramatically change their quality of life by eliminating frequent eye injections," said Christian Foja, MD, of Leipzig University Eye Hospital, who performed the procedure.

NeoVista's radiation device delivers the peak dose of radiation directly to the lesion minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding tissue. The procedure utilizes a device similar in size and appearance to a fountain pen, to deliver focused radiation directly to the area of the retina affected by wet AMD. Importantly for patients, the exposure to radiation is minimal, as the effective dose to the entire body from NeoVista's epiretinal device is comparable to 15 minutes of sun exposure.

Russian center buys CyberKnife

Accuray (Sunnyvale, California) said the N. N. Blokhin Cancer Research Center in Moscow has acquired a CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System. Once installed, it will be the first CyberKnife System in Russia, giving patients access to the benefits of robotic radiosurgery.

"We are excited to see the benefits of whole-body radiosurgery expand into Russia," said Euan Thomson, PhD, president and CEO of Accuray. "This ... paves the way for greater patient access to CyberKnife radiosurgery, thereby providing patients an additional treatment option that can improve their quality of life."

The Blokhin Cancer Research Center comprises four separate institutes, including a 1,600-bed hospital devoted to cancer patients. It is one of the largest in Europe, employing 700 scientists and 2,000 medical personnel.

The center is part of the American-Russian Cancer Alliance, which also includes the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (Baltimore), the Fox Chase Cancer Center (Philadelphia) and the Kurchatov Institute.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute provides the infrastructure for the alliance.

The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is the only robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body non-invasively. Using continual image-guidance technology and computer-controlled robotic mobility, the CyberKnife automatically tracks, detects and corrects for tumor and patient movement in real time throughout the treatment.

According to Accuray, "This enables the CyberKnife System to deliver high-dose radiation with pinpoint precision, which minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue and eliminates the need for invasive head or body stabilization frames.

Flow/microwave chemistry collaboration

ThalesNano (Budapest, Hungary) and the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Microwave Chemistry at Karl-Franzens-University (Graz, Austria) reported a collaboration on flow/microwave chemistry research. The project will focus on the application of flow reactors for organic synthesis and the development of novel technologies utilizing ThalesNano's background in continuous processing. ThalesNano and the Christian Doppler Research Association will provide financial support for the collaboration.

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