Fantastic Voyage: GE Invests in Bowel Surfing Capsule that May Help Doctors Detect Colon Cancer

GE has announced investing into an Israeli company called Check-Cap that’s developing swallowable endoscopic capsules for imaging the insides of the GI tract.  Check-Cap seems to be a direct competitor of the better known Given Imaging, also an Israeli firm, that’s been producing its own PillCams for visualizing everything from the esophagus to the small intestine and beyond.

While PillCams use light in the visible spectrum and a traditional image sensor, the Check-Cap delivers low energy X-rays that provide a much different look at the internal anatomy.  Because X-rays penetrate through soft material, food intake shouldn’t be a problem for the device, and all the typical preparation for a GI tract analysis may not have to apply.

From the announcement:

The device, which employs low energy X-ray-based technology to safely generate high resolution 3D imagery, may help doctors detect colorectal cancer. No cleansing involved. The capsule continuously transmits information to a wrist-worn data receiver. Patients can go play a round of golf or take a walk while the tiny device does its work. At the end of the journey, the capsule leaves the body the “natural” way.

GE Healthcare and Check-Cap will also design and manufacture miniature cadmium zinctelluride (CZT) diagnostic imaging sensors placed inside each Check-Cap capsule. The sensors will give clinicians a full 360-degree view as the capsule moves through the colon. GE Healthcare has many years of experience in developing CZT-based detectors. Similar technologies have been used in the company’s nuclear medicine and bone densitometry systems.

Check-Cap plans to introduce its capsule in the European Union in late 2013, subject to regulatory approval. The company is also in discussions with the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Check-Cap designed an ingestible capsule that snaps pictures as it travels through the bowels. The device, which employs low energy X-ray-based technology to safely generate high resolution 3D imagery, may help doctors detect colorectal cancer. No cleansing involved. The capsule continuously transmits information to a wrist-worn data receiver. Patients can go play a round of golf or take a walk while the tiny device does its work. At the end of the journey, the capsule leaves the body the “natural” way.

The $250 million healthymagination fund invests in promising healthcare technology companies. It has focused on diagnostics, medical information management technology, and life sciences.

GE Healthcare and Check-Cap will also design and manufacture miniature cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) diagnostic imaging sensors placed inside each Check-Cap capsule. The sensors will give clinicians a full 360-degree view as the capsule moves through the colon. GE Healthcare has many years of experience in developing CZT-based detectors. Similar technologies have been used in the company’s nuclear medicine and bone densitometry systems.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Almost 60 percent of the cases occur in developed regions. Globally, it is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer. About 608,000 deaths from colorectal cancer are estimated worldwide annually, accounting for 8 percent of all cancer deaths. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer.

Check-Cap plans to introduce its capsule in the European Union in late 2013, subject to regulatory approval. The company is also in discussions with the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Source:http://www.gereports.com/fantastic-voyage/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gereports%2Ffeed+%28GE+Reports%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

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