April 16 PRNewswire
Endra Life Sciences Launches First Ever Commercial Photoacoustic 3-D Tomographic Imaging System
Nexus 128 System Produces Vascular Images in Seconds without Contrast Agents
ANN ARBOR, Mich.
Endra Life Sciences today announced the launch of the Nexus 128, a preclinical photoacoustic computed tomography (CT) scanner for small animal imaging. The system is used for simple, fast, non-invasive quantification of tumor vasculature and other physiological parameters for preclinical research. The Nexus 128 makes in vivo quantification of tumor vasculature possible without the need for contrast agents and helps preclinical researchers gain deeper insight into areas such as how drugs treat disease and cancer progression, without ionizing radiation or complicated equipment.
Endra Life Sciences was founded by Enlight Biosciences, a funding syndicate of six of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies focused on commercializing transformational technologies.
"Photoacoustic imaging combines ultrasound with the rich contrast of optical imaging, based on the same principles that give cells, organs, and tissues their unique colors," said Michael Thornton, Endra's President and Chief Operating Officer. "It provides high spatial resolution at depth far exceeding that of conventional optical imaging techniques such as fluorescence and bioluminescence. We are excited to make this technology widely available to cancer biology researchers for the first time."
"Mouse models of cancer are used extensively to study tumor development and the effects of new therapies, but until now the tools to measure this effect have had depth limitations," said Dr. Rakesh Jain, Director, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Enlight Biosciences Advisor. "The ability to track abnormal vessel growth and normalization in vivo with high resolution throughout a tumor mass during therapeutic intervention is a powerful new capability that will be widely used in cancer research."
The name Nexus 128 represents the convergence of light and sound in a powerful new imaging approach. It employs a detector array consisting of 128 individual acoustic receiver elements arranged in a patented geometry. The system generates multispectral, quantitative, three dimensional images of tumor vasculature and hemoglobin concentration in under 2 minutes, and completes volumetric anatomical scans in as little as 12 seconds. "For the past several years, our research group has developed quantitative photoacoustic spectroscopy imaging techniques and applied them to mouse models of cancer," said Dr. Keith Stantz, faculty member of Purdue University. "We have been using Endra's photoacoustic tomography prototype system regularly for the past year. The simplified animal handling and high throughput allow us to image entire study groups within a couple of hours."
The Nexus 128 is available for order as of April 18, 2010. Endra Life Sciences is launching the product at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting 2010 in Washington, DC, April 17 - 21, booth # 1848. The Nexus 128 system will also be featured in a poster by Dr. Stantz and his colleagues from Purdue. The poster, titled "Development of short peptide probe to detect ovarian tumors in mouse xenograph model," will be presented during the poster session: 39 Tumor Biology on Tuesday, April 20th at 2:00-5:00pm.
About photoacoustic imaging
Short pulses of light absorbed deep within tissue create sound waves that are detected by ultrasound receivers to create an image. This non-invasive approach provides high contrast imaging at depths, and spatial resolution far exceeding existing optical techniques. The photoacoustic effect, a precursor to photoacoustic imaging, was discovered in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell. Bell showed that energy from sunlight can be transformed into a sound wave. Recent advances in pulsed laser sources, ultrasound devices, and image reconstruction algorithms have enabled the photoacoustic effect to be applied to biological imaging. Endra's Nexus 128 is the first commercial photoacoustic imaging device designed specifically for high throughput, quantitative, in vivo small animal imaging.
Endra Inc., based in Ann Arbor, MI, is dedicated to the commercialization of photoacoustic imaging, a groundbreaking approach enabling rapid, high contrast, high resolution functional and anatomical imaging at depth, without the need for contrast agents. Endra technologies provide fast, simple non-invasive solutions for quantification of tumor vasculature, blood oxygen saturation, and imaging of dye labeled molecular probes. Endra is a portfolio company of Enlight Biosciences. Additional information about Endra can be found at www.endrainc.com.
About Enlight Biosciences
Enlight is a Boston-based company established in partnership with Abbott, Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Novartis to develop breakthrough innovations that will fundamentally alter drug discovery and development.
Enlight was co-founded by PureTech Ventures and academic luminaries led by Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, Enlight's SAB Chair, Nobel Laureate, Howard Hughes Investigator, and Koch Professor of Biology at MIT; Dr. Sam Gambhir, Professor of Radiology, Chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine, Stanford; Dr. Rakesh Jain, Cook Professor of Tumor Biology at MGH and Harvard Medical School; Dr. Raju Kucherlapati, co-founder of Millennium and Abgenix, Cabot Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Bennett Shapiro, PureTech Ventures Senior Partner, former Executive Vice President of Basic Research and Worldwide Licensing at Merck & Co., Inc.
35 Research Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
SOURCE Endra Life Sciences