A*STAR, GE Global Research in medical imaging deal

GE Global Research has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Singapore’s Agency of Science, Technology and Research, also known as A*STAR.

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SINGAPORE—GE Global Research, the central technologydevelopment arm for GE Healthcare and all of GE's businesses, has signed amemorandum of understanding (MOU) with Singapore's Agency of Science,Technology and Research, also known as A*STAR, that seeks to advance currentmedical imaging technologies and diagnostics to enable more accurate, earlierand faster clinical diagnoses of cancer and other diseases.
The partnership beings together the partners' deep domainexpertise in biomedical, science and engineering. The MOU expands upon aproductive collaboration between GE and A*STAR's Singapore BioimagingConsortium (SBIC) using Hyperpolarized Carbon-13 technology. Early resultsexploring sub-second biochemical imaging in oncology applications helped pavethe way for a broader scientific collaboration on projects in medicaldiagnostics and medical imaging. The goal is to improve diagnosis and tissuecharacterization in diseases that are prevalent in the Asian population, suchas liver, lung and gastric cancers.
As part of the MOU, A*STAR and GE Global Research willcollaborate to enhance medical imaging technologies in imaging modalities,ranging from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography(PET) to computed tomography (CT).
A recent Frost & Sullivan global market analysis reportvalued the medical imaging sector at about $25 billion as of 2008, with MRI andCT scanners accounting for a combined 40 percent of the total global devicemedical imaging market.
In one project, scientists from A*STAR's Institute ofMicroelectronics (IME) and GE scientists will explore the development of newimaging technologies to improve the speed and accuracy of clinical cancerdiagnosis. Leveraging IME's network and partnerships with the microelectronicsindustry, the companies say the project could result in the development of anew local industry for Singapore in the healthcare technologies area.
In another project, the SBIC and GE plan to develop novelimaging markers for hepatic cellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type ofliver cancer in Asia. This project will integrate biomedical imaging andpreclinical model development expertise from SBIC with GE's moleculardiagnostics technology to develop innovative, proprietary platforms to helpadvance the unique characterization of HCC in each patient. In this manner, thegoal is that a specific type of cancer would be identified and the therapytailored to each patient. This project encompasses a range of medicaldiagnostic technologies from imaging to molecular pathology biomarkersappropriate to HCC, relevant to the Asian population. Building on a closepartnership with local hospitals, success in this project may lead toaccelerated and accurate cancer diagnosis that enables more prescriptive andeffective cancer treatments for patients.
"To more effectively combat cancer and other deadlydiseases, more advanced diagnostic tools will be needed to help doctors becomemore prescriptive in their diagnoses and treatment regimens," said MichaelIdelchik, vice president of Advanced Technology Programs at GE Global Research,in a statement. "Combining A*STAR's world-class biomedical and clinicalexpertise with GE's strengths in diagnostic and molecular imaging, we have anexciting opportunity to take medical diagnosis to this next level.Specifically, A*STAR will help us address cancers and other diseases morecommon in Asia and where pathology and outcomes are different as compared tothe rest of the world."
Prof. Low Teck Seng, managing director of A*STAR, added,"This win-win public-private partnership between A*STAR and GE comes at anopportune time with the increasing research interest in diseases affecting theAsian population. I am confident that A*STAR's cross-disciplinary capabilitiesin both the biomedical and physical sciences and engineering research willcomplement GE's expertise in diagnostic and molecular imaging to meet today'scomplex healthcare challenges and enhance lives."

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