September 12, 2008 – GE Healthcare and Varian Inc. will begin a collaboration to develop a new preclinical 7T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system to create an advanced MR for research purposes.
Under the agreement, initial development and integration will be a joint effort between the two companies. Once development is complete, Varian will offer customers a fully integrated 7T System combining GE Healthcare’s electronics, user interface, pulse-sequences and applications with the magnet, gradients, positioning devices and RF coils provided by Varian.
“Pre-clinical imaging is a key area of growth for Varian," said Garry Rogerson, president and CEO, Varian, Inc.
Preclinical magnetic resonance imaging is a versatile and noninvasive method to investigate anatomy, metabolism and physiology in research models. It has a broad range of applications in soft tissues, including brain and organ imaging, tumor assessment, disease progression, and functional imaging. In research, other potential applications include investigation of new contrast mechanisms and agents, monitoring gene expression, analysis of protein interactions, and determination of pharmacokinetics. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging is a closely related technique, used to measure the concentrations of specific molecules in the body, enabling direct measurement of neurotransmitters in the brain or metabolites in muscle.
“We feel this system is an ideal addition to our existing pre-clinical MRI product line,” said Martin O’Donoghue, Vice President, Scientific Instruments, Varian, Inc. “It will appeal to the burgeoning group of researchers who have experience with GE MRI systems. We feel this will give them the pre-clinical MR imaging tool they have been looking for.”
According to Jim Mitchell, general manager of Molecular Imaging technologies for GE Healthcare, the company together with Varian anticipates expanding its preclinical imaging offering which currently includes PET, SPECT, CT scanners as well as dual and tri-modality imaging systems.
For more information: www.gehealthcare.com