At the 2009 World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) in Montreal, Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) and Bruker BioSpin, a division of Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ: BRKR), today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) scanners, a new imaging technology, for the preclinical market. The partnership would unite Philips’ strength in medical imaging and Bruker BioSpin’s leadership in analytical magnetic resonance instruments and preclinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Under the terms of the MOU, Bruker BioSpin intends to develop and manufacture the preclinical MPI scanner at its facilities in Ettlingen, Germany. Both parties intend to co-market the resulting solution. Preclinical imaging has emerged as a powerful tool in disease studies, translational research and drug discovery. Philips and Bruker BioSpin believe that the addition of MPI as a complementary preclinical imaging technique has great potential to help researchers gain new insights in disease processes at the organ, cellular and molecular level.
MPI is a new medical imaging technology developed by scientists at Philips. It uses the magnetic properties of iron-oxide nanoparticles to produce three-dimensional images of the concentration of nanoparticles injected into the bloodstream. The potential of the technology for medical and industrial research and, ultimately, patient care, was demonstrated in a publication which appeared in the March issue of Physics in Medicine and Biology in 2009 (Volume 54, issue 5). It was shown that MPI technology can be used to produce real-time images that accurately capture the activity in the cardiovascular system of a mouse.
“We are very pleased about this collaboration with Philips on this exciting technology. Magnetic Particle Imaging is expected to allow scientists to explore an extensive range of new imaging capabilities and applications in preclinical research, ” said Wulf-Ingo Jung, Managing Director of Bruker BioSpin MRI GmbH. “The highly sensitive visualization of functional characteristics in vivo at high temporal resolution bears great potential for small animal imaging, especially when combined with high spatial resolution morphological MRI.”
“Through its combined speed, resolution and sensitivity, our Magnetic Particle Imaging technology has great potential for the diagnosis, therapy planning and therapy response assessment for major diseases such as heart disease and cancer,” said Diego Olego, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Philips Healthcare. “We are excited about the agreement with Bruker BioSpin as it will lead to the availability of MPI scanners for preclinical research studies, which is a prerequisite for establishing the value of this promising new technology for patient care.”
A key success factor for the effective translation of new imaging concepts into practice are partnerships with leading academic medical institutions, industrial partners and governments. Bringing together such partnerships is one of the underlying principles behind Philips’ policy of open innovation. The results obtained in the MAGIC (Magnetic Particle Imaging for Cardio-Vascular Applications) research project conducted at the Philips Research Laboratories in Hamburg (Germany), have significantly contributed to the development of MPI. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under grant Number 13N9079 as part of the NanoForLife Framework Program. The project was started in 2006 and will finish by the end of this year.