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5 September 2014

Oxford detects tumours with ultrasound

Oxford is spinning out Enhanced Medical to exploit new ultrasound imaging technology.

Author: Thierry Heles, reporter

Oxford University’s technology transfer company Isis Innovation and the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialisation (Cimtec) are partnering to develop and test a new ultrasound imaging technology created at Oxford University.

Named Oxford Electromagnetic Acoustic (OxEma), the technology was created by David Edwards and is able to gather similar information to what an MRI scanner would. Thanks to the technology being similar to ultrasound – it uses a combination of electromagnetic and acoustic waves – OxEma is quicker, more accessible and more cost-effective and can also be used outside of hospitals and in remote areas.

Current ultrasound technology is not able to identify tumours or other diseased tissue, and Enhanced Medical is hoping that OxEma will lead to earlier diagnoses of diseases such as prostate and liver cancer, thereby significantly improving treatment options and survival rates.

Isis Innovation’s partnership with Cimtec will fasten up the commercialisation process. Cimtec is a Canadian centre specifically focused on commercialising research around medical imaging. Its other partner institutions include Western University Canada and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Patents have been filed in various countries, and have been granted in Japan and China.

Amol Karnick, chief executive at Enhanced Medical, said: “Through discussions with several physicians about our technology and its potential, they have confirmed that improving biopsy targeting using ultrasound is a significant clinical need.  OxEma is well-positioned to solve this clinical problem, and will be able to improve outcomes for patients and hospitals using it. I am confident that the partnership with Cimtec will accelerate our development and bring OxEma to market earlier.”

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