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Mauna Kea joins Dutch molecular imaging project that just won €5.4M

13 Nov 2019

The MEDPHOT consortium is aiming to develop light-based molecular imaging solution for pulmonary diseases.

Mauna Kea Technologies (MKT), inventor of Cellvizio, the probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy platform, has announced its participation in a molecular imaging consortium that was recently awarded €5.4 million by the Perspective Program of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

MKT says molecular imaging provides insight into molecular and cellular processes in the body, and has the potential to transform healthcare by offering earlier detection and enabling more precise treatment of diseases.

In a continuing effort to promote molecular imaging, the international Photonics Translational Research – Medical Photonics (MEDPHOT) consortium, led by professor of Biophotonics Johannes de Boer of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has been awarded the €5.4 million grant from NWO for the program known as “Light for a Better View on Diseases.”

This consortium brings together four Dutch Universities (VU Amsterdam, UvA, UU, TU Delft), which are established in the field of molecular imaging, the Dutch Applied Natural Science Research Organization, three academic hospitals (Amsterdam UMC, UMC Groningen, Leiden UMC) and several international companies – including Mauna Kea.

New optical biomarkers

The aim of this five-year research program is to develop and validate new optical biomarkers that will enable earlier diagnosis, improved treatment and better quality of life. A total of 75 scientists will be working on this research program focusing on technological innovations and clinical assessment, involving a total budget of €18 million.

“With this program, we will assess new molecular imaging markers with probe and needle-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy that may allow physicians to make decisions with greater insight, precision and confidence, bringing healthcare one step closer to personalized care, in pulmonary diseases,” said J. T. Annema, M.D. Ph.D., professor of Pulmonary Endoscopy, Amsterdam University Medical Center.

“Cellvizio is the only clinical system that provides the capability to image molecular markers at cellular level,” said Robert L. Gershon, Chief Executive Officer of Mauna Kea Technologies. “The Light For A Better View On Diseases program will allow Mauna Kea to partner with leading academic research institutions in the field of molecular imaging to develop and validate the most advanced molecular imaging markers and, more importantly, to assess them in a clinical setting for pulmonary diseases, such as lung cancer, asthma, and interstitial lung diseases.”

“One of Mauna Kea strategic priorities for R&D investment has been in molecular imaging development that will enable quantitative and more accurate diagnosis, driving more personalized care and workflow efficiencies from diagnosis to treatment – this makes us an ideal partner for this important research program.”

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