UK-based corporation GE Healthcare has committed $1 billion over the next five years to developing molecular technologies for cancer diagnosis and imaging.
The investment will affect all regions of GE Healthcare’s global business and reflects the growing importance of molecular diagnostics in supporting targeted and personalised cancer therapies.
In the last seven years, GE Healthcare has strengthened its presence in the oncology field through its acquisition of seven specialist companies, including Clarient in 2010.
John Dineen, GE Healthcare’s President and CEO, said: “As one of the most relevant global cancer diagnostic companies, we are devoting an even greater share of our R&D budget to continue developing new oncology solutions.
“With a disease as complex and multifaceted as cancer, solutions need to be equally multifaceted and even more integrated, combining imaging, molecular diagnostics and healthcare IT.”
“The only way we can help clinicians beat cancer is to give them the tools to find it earlier, stage it better, and quantitatively measure response to therapy,” added Mike Harsh, GE Healthcare’s Chief Technology Officer.
“The integration of GE Healthcare’s expertise in imaging, analytics, diagnostics, cellular analysis, and healthcare IT is helping create technologies and solutions that can be used in a rural developing country or in a modern urban hospital.”
The investment will focus on such new solutions as:
- A new biomarker for molecular diagnostic tests for breast cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer, developed by GE’s Clarient business and planned for market launch in 2013.
- A new ‘multiplexing’ technology that could allow pathologists to conduct more than 50 different stains on a single tissue section, enabling more effective personalised treatment recommendations.
- New agents for real-time metabolic imaging based on GE’s C13 technology for tracking tumour growth and response to treatment.
- A new system for connected oncology workflow, MD Connect, which enables access via any networked computer to the complete suite of oncology applications from any location or department. MD Connect integrates with the Eclipse treatment planning platform from Varian Medical Systems.
Based in Chalfont St. Giles, GE Healthcare is a global leader in the development of transformational medical technologies and services focused on reducing costs and increasing patient access.