GE Healthcare, a division of the General Electric Company, has announced the opening of its first integrated development centre (IDC) at Manipal Hospital, in Bangalore. The IDC in Bangalore is expected to conduct around 1,000 scans annually as part of the planned clinical trials, and will be part of a series of global multi-country clinical studies in the US, the EU and several other countries.
Under the terms of the collaboration, physicians at Manipal Hospital will act as investigators and provide clinical and imaging services and administration in the hospital.
The IDC in Bangalore will play a crucial role in GE Healthcare's ongoing global clinical research programme, and help bring new diagnostic imaging agents aimed at addressing medical needs in oncology, neurology and cardiology to the market, the company said.
Manipal Hospital will conduct clinical research trials using a wide range of GE Healthcare's innovative diagnostic imaging technologies, including its light-speed VCT, Discovery STe 16 slice PET/CT scanner, dual head gamma camera with CT (SPECT/CT) and twin-speed high definition magnetic resonance (HDMR) imaging system.
"The clinical studies in India are a key part of our global strategy. We want to use our unique abilities in biology and engineering to develop novel imaging agents that will provide groundbreaking molecular diagnostic options for physicians and their patients. The research efforts of GE Healthcare's Medical Diagnostics R&D team are currently focused on functional and molecular imaging agents that help doctors evaluate the physiology of disease and make treatment decisions earlier with confidence," Dan Peters, president and CEO of Medical Diagnostics at GE Healthcare, said.
Information obtained from this site, will be combined with data from other centres globally, for development of new contrast and molecular imaging agents or new indications for existing agents.
The first studies will focus on Visipaque (iodixanol) an isosmolar contrast agent that was launched globally by GE Healthcare in 1996. Visipaque has been used in millions of X-ray and computer tomography procedures to date. Contrast agents are used during medical diagnostic procedures to provide image enhancement of tissues and organs. Future studies will be extended to cover the company's entire diagnostic imaging portfolio.
Dr Ranjan Pai, chief executive officer, Manipal Education and Medical Group, said, "GE Healthcare has been our partner for a number of years, and we are excited to team up with them again to drive such an important programme forward."
GE Healthcare, based in the UK, is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 healthcare professionals, serving patients in over 100 countries.
GE Healthcare will create more IDCs in key strategic locations globally over the years, a company release said.