A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

A study presented during last month’s European Congress of Radiology (ECR) conference in Vienna, Austria, cited the effectiveness of the ColonCAD from Medicsight (London) for the detection of colorectal cancer in symptomatic patients.

Professor Steve Halligan of University College Hospital (London) has been investigating computer-aided detection (CAD) for colorectal cancers in symptomatic patients. In his presentation at ECR, Halligan provided preliminary results from an ongoing study investigating the potential for CAD to detect colon cancers demonstrated on computed tomography (CT) colonography.

Medicsight said Halligan’s study “supports the expansion of the clinical usage of ColonCAD, which has increasingly been advocated for the detection of adenomatous polyps in asymptomatic patients.”

The study patients were examined with Medicsight ColonCAD to analyze paired prone and supine datasets over a range of four user-adjustable CAD filter settings. Across the range of settings, ColonCAD detected 47 to 54 of the 59 cancers (sensitivity range of 88.7%-91.5%).

Overall, the study showed Medicsight ColonCAD to be “very effective” in the detection of colon cancer on CT colonography. Both prone and supine datasets are required for optimal CAD results.

David Sumner, CEO of Medicsight said, “These . . . preliminary results validate and could further extend the potential use of the Medicsight ColonCAD in clinical practice.”

Also at the ECR meeting, Sectra (Link ping, Sweden) launched a new model of its full-field digital mammography system providing what the company said is the lowest radiation dose on the market.

Sectra said the next-generation MicroDose Mammography, besides having the low dose, provides “unsurpassed throughput, customized workflow and outstanding ergonomics.”

Jesper S derqvist, president of Sectra’s mammography operations, said the new version of the system, “combined with our system for management and archiving of digital breast images, enables us to offer our customers a total solution developed to fit all mammography environments, from high-volume screening to clinical mammography.”

Sectra said it is the only company offering a mammography system based on a photon-counting detector technology. More than 900 hospitals worldwide use the system daily and more than 40 million radiology examinations are diagnosed in Sectra’s system annually.

Diamics lands $22M contract in China

Diamics (Novato, California), a developer of cancer screening and diagnostics products, reported signing a three-year, $22 million-plus contract for the use and distribution of its system for cervical cancer screening in China.

It said that Beijing Jingmin Hospital Group will purchase at least 1 million tests a year, initially starting with the company’s CerCol collector, part of the Pap-Map cervical mapping system. The CerCol collector received FDA clearance in March.

“The government here has called for greater awareness, screening and treatment of women’s health conditions, specifically, cervical cancer, and we are very pleased to be the first hospital to become a center of cervical cancer screening excellence,” said James Shi, MD, of Beijing Jingmin Hospital. Product registration in China is being funded and organized by Beijing Jingmin Hospital Group.

Once registered, the CerCol collector initially will be used in China in conjunction with the Diamics Transfer Station, to automatically create a “touch-prep” impression onto a pre-treated slide, which then can be processed by normal Pap staining methods.

Diamics said the Pap-Map technique is able to create a “map” of the sample collected from the cervix, providing the physician with Pap stain-qualitative aspects of abnormal areas of the cervix to help direct colposcopy and biopsies.

The second phase of the agreement will be triggered by the registration in China of Diamics’ automated C-Map cervical cancer screening system, now in testing.

The C-Map system is a molecular-based diagnostic device being developed to allow for real-time, “see and treat” applications, Diamics said. It combines sampling with the CerCol collector and slide preparation with discreet immunological probes to determine the ratio between proliferating and apoptotic cells and by means of a third marker, identify cells that have been integrated by HPV.

“We are [pleased] to be working with the Beijing Jingmin Hospital Group and its affiliates to help women in China obtain proper screening for what is a highly treatable disease if caught early,” said Christine Meda, Diamics’ president/COO. “We anticipate that the C-Map system will be a key diagnostic tool in China and other developing countries, as we expect the automated system to offer a more specific, affordable result to women who presently do not have such access.”

Diamics noted that China has a high incidence of cervical cancer and it has recently become a government priority to address the issue by promoting more widespread screening programs. Cancer of the cervix is the second-most-commonly-diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. About 500,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, 80% of which occur in developing countries.

Criticare in $2.2 million Iraq sale

Criticare Systems (CSI; Milwaukee) reported the receipt of a $2.2 million international order for its next-generation portable multi-parameter vital signs monitor, winning a tender bid initiated by the ministry of health for the Republic of Iraq.

The order calls for payment via a letter of credit issued by the Trade Bank of Iraq, a bank owned by the government of Iraq and supported by a consortium led by JPMorgan Chase.

The company said it plans multiple shipments beginning in 4Q07, with completion anticipated in 1Q08.

CSI manufactures monitoring systems and noninvasive sensors for a wide range of hospitals and alternate healthcare environments throughout the world.

Genetic IP acquisition accord

UTEK (Tampa, Florida), a specialty finance company focused on technology transfer, and Genetic Technologies (Melbourne, Australia)), a life science company specializing in genetics and genomics, said they have signed a technology acquisition agreement.

UTEK will assist Genetic Technologies in identifying genetic analysis intellectual property developed by U.S.-based research entities that may be of interest to the Australian firm’s genetic testing business. The initial focus of the relationship will be in the area of non-coding DNA analysis.

“We believe [this agreement] may assist us in expanding our proprietary position in the offering of ‘non-coding’ DNA-based genetic tests,” said Mervyn Jacobson, CEO of Genetic Technologies.

Fonar’s Damadian honored at UAE meeting

Raymond Damadian, founder and president of Fonar (Melville, New York), was a guest speaker at the annual Abu Dhabi International Surgical Conference in the United Arab Emirates early last month for his contribution to medicine and surgery for his pioneering work in MRI.

The company displayed the Upright Multi-Position MRI during the meeting at the Emirates Palace Hotel, attended by representatives from more than 20 countries.

Conference co-chair Issam Khoury, MD, chief of neurosurgery and chairman of surgery at Mafraq Hospital, said, “We are thankful to Professor Damadian for his discovery of the signal that enables the MR to make the highly detailed pictures of normal and diseased tissues and for the invention of the world’s first MR scanner.”

Khoury said the Upright technology “is quickly becoming the MRI of choice. Patients walk in, are scanned in the weight-bearing position, and walk out. We endorse it for its importance in diagnostic radiology.”
The company also reported selecting a distributor in the Middle East to spearhead its sales efforts in that region. The distributor was not named

More reagents from China Medical

China Medical Technologies (Beijing, China), a maker of in vitro diagnostic systems and high-intensity focused ultrasound products, said it completed development of 10 new chemiluminescence immunoassay infertility diagnostic reagents, increasing its reagent kit offerings to a total of 72.

The reagents, designed to measure antibodies that affect reproduction and potentially to analyze immunological factors that cause infertility, are expected to be introduced in July.

The National Population and Family Planning Commission of China estimates more than 300 million women of child-bearing age in China in 2006, with about 10% facing infertility problems. Immunological tests analyze the causes of infertility arising from the immune system.

European office for BodyTel Scientific

BodyTel Scientific (Henderson, Nevada), focused on the development of wireless healthcare products, has opened a representative office in Bad Wildungen, Germany. The new office will serve as European headquarters for BodyTel, which has the stated goal of becoming a market leader in providing healthcare monitoring products and services.

The initial product release will be the GlucoTel Blood Glucose Meter, targeting the growing diabetes sector. The device is a small and easy-to-read meter that wirelessly monitors patients with diabetes using Bluetooth and cellular phone technology. The data is then retrieved by physicians using a secure web site.

Stephan Schraps, president/CEO of GlucoTel Scientific, said, “The opening of this office represents a significant milestone in our global commercialization efforts. We are making tremendous strides in the development of our GlucoTel product and we look forward to communicating future achievements as they occur.”