SOURCE: Gamma Medica-Ideas

August 29, 2006 16:58 ET

Gamma Medica-Ideas Introduces Revolutionary CZT-Based SPECT Pre-Clinical Imaging Camera

New eV-CZT™ Gamma Camera Delivers Much Sharper Images and Opens up Previously Unattainable SPECT Imaging Protocols

NORTHRIDGE, CA and OSLO, NORWAY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 29, 2006 -- Gamma Medica-Ideas (GM-I) announced today a new fully solid-state gamma camera for the company's FLEX Pre-Clinical Imaging Platform that produces striking improvements in SPECT imaging. The new GM-I camera is built using extraordinarily high performance cadmium zinc telluride (eV-CZT™(1)) crystals from GM-I partner eV-PRODUCTS (Saxonburg, PA). GM-I uses its own unique next-generation, integrated front-end Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) to build the CZT crystals into fully solid-state gamma camera detector modules.

The major advantages of GM-I's solid-state camera lie in the much improved signal-to-noise ratio the CZT detector technology provides.(2) When a gamma ray strikes GM-I's solid-state crystal, an electrical signal is produced in the crystal, which directly generates a digital image. By contrast, all other gamma cameras use a vacuum-tube technology that has been relatively unchanged for over 50 years. In these traditional gamma cameras, images are acquired using a significantly less efficient two-step process: gamma rays are first converted into light in one device; then the light is converted into an electrical signal in a second device.

GM-I's new direct digital camera delivers much sharper images and opens up previously unattainable imaging protocols, such as the simultaneous imaging of isotopes with similar energies. For example, many researchers have long wanted to conduct studies that would require simultaneously imaging the isotopes technetium-99m and iodine-123, but traditional gamma cameras are unable to distinguish between the gamma rays produced by these isotopes. GM-I's solid-state gamma cameras can. The ability to image closely-spaced isotopes will help accelerate breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of many common diseases. Furthermore, the detector material in the new gamma camera can be safely positioned directly adjacent to strong magnets, such as those used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), enabling combined SPECT/MRI imaging systems to be designed. (In traditional gamma cameras, the signals from the cameras' vacuum tubes are destroyed by MRI magnets.)

In short, GM-I's new gamma cameras represent the first major improvement in gamma camera technology in over a half century. The new camera is compatible with all existing GM-I imaging platforms, allowing current GM-I imaging system users to easily upgrade to the new camera.

"CZT detectors offer a revolution in nuclear medicine. They serve as the first significant departure from 50-year-old NaI crystal and photomultiplier tube technology used in all nuclear medicine systems today. The leap forward in energy and contrast resolution provided by our CZT detectors, coupled with their unsurpassed sensitivity, will change SPECT imaging," said Dr. Bradley E. Patt, GM-I's President and Chief Executive Officer. "These detectors will open up exciting new frontiers in pre-clinical imaging."

About Gamma Medica-Ideas

Gamma Medica-Ideas (GM-I) designs, develops and manufactures next-generation imaging systems used in diagnostic medicine, medical research, and for security and safety applications. GM-I's expertise in unique next-generation, integrated front-end electronics allows it to produce some of the world's only truly digital imaging equipment. The company develops and produces all of its key electrical components and systems, such as:

--  Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs)
    
--  Detector modules
    
--  Camera heads built with unique solid-state technology
    
--  Systems and software featuring advanced multi-modality image fusion,
    registration and processing capabilities.
    
GM-I is a world leader in developing imaging systems that contain two or more imaging modalities. Combining different imaging modalities in single instruments creates imaging tools with powerful diagnostic and research capabilities. GM-I's products include the LumaGEM® functional breast imaging system for early diagnosis of breast cancer and the FLEX and FLEX Triumph Pre-clinical Imaging Platforms for medical research and drug development. FLEX systems are used by medical researchers and drug companies that use in vivo imaging techniques and molecular markers to dramatically speed up studies of disease progression and therapy. GM-I's FLEX and FLEX Triumph systems include:
--  X-SPECT® -- the market leader in the pre-clinical SPECT category and
    the only commercially available solid-state, eV-CZT-based SPECT pre-
    clinical imaging system.
    
--  X-PET™ -- a pre-clinical PET system with a large axial field of view
    and the highest sensitivity among small animal PET systems.
    
--  X-O™ -- a high-speed volume micro-CT instrument.
    
Any two of the above systems can be combined in the FLEX Triumph imaging gantry, as can all three.

GM-I's imaging systems are used by some of the world's leading medical institutions, including Harvard University, Yale University, the Mayo Clinic, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Switzerland's Center for Radiopharmaceutical Science, and many others.

More information is available at www.gm-ideas.com.

(1) eV-CZT is a trademark of eV-PRODUCTS (Saxonburg, PA) and is used with permission.

(2) Signal-to-noise ratio is a measurement of an imaging device’s ability to detect measurable gamma rays from an imaging subject (signal) and filter out other erroneous data (noise) that does not contribute to forming a quality image.

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