ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.
TSX : ARA

ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.

September 10, 2008 09:49 ET

The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA Purchases Preclinical Optical Molecular Imaging System From ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.

Optix® system to be part of molecular imaging platform at UCLA's nanotechnology research labs to test novel nanometer-sized quantum dot probes

MONTREAL, CANADA--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2008) - ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. ("ART") (TSX:ARA), a Canadian medical device company and a leader in optical molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, is pleased to announce the sale of the optical molecular imaging Optix® MX2 system to the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA, in Los Angeles.

The CNSI will be using Optix as part of its cutting-edge research in the development and evaluation of nanoparticles (known as quantum dots), which act as sensitive probes that home in on specific biological targets, all the time glowing in distinctive colors and functionalized with various biological molecules including nucleic acids, proteins, peptides, small compounds, as found in complex environments such as the living cell.

Dr. Shimon Weiss, the head of the Single Molecule Biophysics Group at UCLA and the director of the CNSI's Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Core Facility and Macro-Scale Imaging Core Facility, and Dr. Laurent Bentolila, the cores' scientific director, are leading this research. "In building our world class In Vivo Imaging Shared Facility, we knew we wanted to have an ART Optix MX2 time-domain based fluorescence imaging system as an important part of our comprehensive collection of instrumentation for macro-scale molecular imaging. We plan to leverage the Optix MX2's powerful combination of unmatched sensitivity in the detection of quantum dots, as well as the system's capabilities for fluorescence lifetime gating for multiplexing signals, 3D reconstruction, and coregistration with microCT, to apply our quantum dot compounds in a multitude of biological pathways in in vivo models, and we are very pleased to have the Optix MX2 as part of those plans," Dr. Weiss said.

"Semiconductor quantum dots have emerged as very sensitive optical probes that can be used to target, detect, and image fundamental events that occur within a biological system. Near-infrared quantum dots, such as those capable of being detected by ART's Optix system, are proving to be important tools for researchers who need to obtain enhanced signal detection for deep tissue imaging. We are proud that the CNSI has selected our unique optical imaging system, Optix, to be part of their world-leading research and innovation in this important research area," said Sebastien Gignac, Chairman & CEO of ART. The CNSI facility at UCLA will provide for the training of individuals such as basic research scientists, clinicians, technologists, and support personnel interested in learning the techniques and science of macro-scale imaging, including both didactic and hands-on instruction.

About the Optix® system

Based on time-domain technology, which allows measurement of the light's time of arrival, the Optix® in vivo optical molecular imaging device is the most sensitive optical imager commercially available on the preclinical market, allowing for detection of lower concentrations of signals deeper inside the body. Unique to the Optix system is the ability to recover fluorescence lifetime, which can be used to separate and quantify probe distributions depending on their respective biochemical environment. Also part of the Optix product offering is a CT fusion software package allowing researchers to export the scan obtained using Optix in DICOM format, and fuse it with microCT for a full 3D anatomical reference.

About California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA

The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) is a research center at UCLA whose mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and to enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries in nanosystems. CNSI members who are on the faculty at UCLA represent a multi-disciplinary team of some of the world's preeminent scientists. The work conducted at the CNSI represents world-class expertise in five targeted areas of nanosystems-related research including Renewable Energy; Environmental Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology; NanoBiotechnology and Biomaterials; NanoMechanical and NanoFluidic systems; and NanoElectronics, Photonics and Architectonics. The CNSI's new building on the campus of UCLA is home to eight core facilities which will serve both academic and industry collaborations. For more details, visit the Institute's web site at www.cnsi.ucla.edu.

About ART

ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. is a leader in molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. ART has developed products in medical imaging, medical diagnostics, disease research, and drug discovery with the goal of bringing new and better treatments to patients faster. The Optix® optical molecular imaging system, designed for monitoring physiological changes in living systems at the preclinical study phases of new drugs, is used by industry and academic leaders worldwide. The SoftScan® optical medical imaging device is designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Finally, the Fenestra® line of molecular imaging contrast products provides image enhancement for a wide range of preclinical Micro CT applications allowing scientists to see greater detail in their imaging studies, with potential extension into other major imaging modalities. ART is commercializing some of these products in a global strategic alliance with GE Healthcare, a world leader in mammography and imaging. ART's shares are listed on the TSX under the ticker symbol ARA. For more information on ART, visit our website at www.art.ca.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that would cause actual events to differ materially from expectations. These risks and uncertainties are described in ART's most recent Annual Information Form and the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2007, available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).

Contact Information

  • ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.
    Jacques Bedard
    Chief Financial Officer
    jbedard@art.ca
    or
    ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.
    Dino DiCamillo, Vice President of Global Sales
    and Marketing, Preclinical Imaging
    514-832-0777
    ddicamil@art.ca
    www.art.ca