General Electric (GE) recently has launched a new entity which it calls Research Circle Technology Inc. (RCT) to accelerate and enhance the development of Metabolic Imaging as well as other innovative technology.
RCT aims to create a strong alliance between GE’s scientists and the world’s leading universities to provide easy access to GE’s organic technology and healthcare expertise. The alliance is considered to be an open innovation structure.
Michael Harsh, vice president and chief technology officer for GE Healthcare, considers RCT as a significant step forward for its healthcare division as it reinvents its methods on how to engage both its customers and industry thought leaders.
“Ultimately, RCT can help us execute our vision to develop and deliver groundbreaking new solutions in Healthcare technology,” says Harsh.
Metabolic imaging technology has many potential applications especially in disease detection research. For example, the University of California at San Francisco’s (UCSF) Surbeck Laboratory for Advanced Imaging had groundbreaking results of a study utilizing GE’s 13C technology to study prostate cancer.
“This is the first time researchers have used this technology to conduct real-time metabolic imaging in a human patient,” says Sarah J. Nelson, Ph.D., a professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF. This represents a revolutionary approach to assessing the precise outlines of a tumor, its response to treatment and how quickly it is growing.
Similar developments are also taking place in Europe. At Cancer Research, the United Kingdom’s Cambridge Research Institute, scientists using metabolic imaging have developed a technique on how to effectively treat breast cancer much earlier than the usual weeks of treatment.
“There has been a need to develop imaging methods that can help detect treatment response more accurately than traditional methods and before tumors change size,” says Kevin Brindle, professor and lead researcher at Cancer Research. “Our new imaging method not only shows early evidence that treatment is working but could also help predict the long term outcome. We expect that these techniques will have an impact for patients in the near future.”
Through RCT, GE looks to continue developing this innovative technology by providing the tools, services, and solutions. This will assist researchers to focus on their investigations into the biochemistry of metabolism and speed the discovery of potentially lifesaving knowledge.
RCT will sell SpinLab polarizers and provide the licensing framework for partners to continue to develop the metabolic imaging applications.
“The focused goal of RCT is open collaboration to bring Hyperpolarization technology to the worlds’ leading researchers and enable their studies to better understand the biochemistry of life,” says Jonathan A. Murray, RCT’s managing director. “The early results are very exciting and we are delighted to collaborate with this community to help bring this innovative technology to its full potential.”