News - Cellvizio - Nov 7, 2019

Mauna Kea Technologies Participates in Dutch Molecular Imaging Consortium that was Awarded €5.4 Million

MEDPHOT consortium aims to develop light-based molecular imaging solution for pulmonary diseases 

Mauna Kea Technologies today announced it is part of a molecular imaging consortium that was awarded €5.4 million by the Perspective Program of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

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. For over a decade, the Netherlands has been striving to be a leader in unifying, advancing and optimizing molecular imaging, with an ultimate goal of improving human health. 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 a 5.4 million euro grant from the NWO for the program “Light for a better view on diseases.” This consortium will gather four Dutch Universities (VU Amsterdam, UvA, UU, TU Delft) well-recognized and established in the field of molecular imaging and the Dutch Applied Natural Science Research Organization, three academic dutch hospitals (Amsterdam UMC, UMC Groningen, Leiden UMC) and several international companies including Mauna Kea Technologies. The objective of this 5-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 euros.

“Thanks to 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. The foundation of superior molecular imaging technology that Mauna Kea has developed continues to be increasingly appreciated by researchers and clinicians across many disease states. Most recently, we have experienced a strong market response from potential customers and clinicians for the application of our Cellvizio technology in the area of interventional pulmonology. Our Cellvizio technology has demonstrated the ability to excite, and visualize, a wide variety of molecules which we believe positions us to be an important contributor in the effort to identify new optical biomarkers to improve diagnosis and treatment in the years to come.”