· IMAS, a Public Procurement of Innovation project managed by Regional Minister of Health of the Government of Valencia, for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of diseases.
· Valencia-based company Quibim is collaborating in the construction of an innovative total-body PET/CT scanner for simultaneous whole-body imaging.
· Quibim will deliver a pioneering automatic pipeline to perform organ analysis and design the imaging biomarkers layer of the new device, which brings cutting-edge Spanish expertise under one roof.
Valencia, July 20, 2021 – Global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and medical image processing Quibim is taking part in a €7.5M project to build a total-body PET/CT scanner in a Temporary Business Association (TBA).
The PHOENIX TBA between Quibim and the companies Full Body Insight and Oncovision, is subcontracted by the Regional Minister of Health of the Government of Valencia Region in a Public Procurement of Innovation project. The initiative is co-financed (50%) by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
The High Sensitivity Molecular Imaging project (“Imagen Molecular de Alta Sensibilidad – IMAS”) goes one step beyond current PET technology and is expected to come up with new applications of PET in biomedical research.
PET imaging is a safe medical examination that allows to visualize extremely low amounts of radioactive compounds administered to the patients and to provide functional information of processes occurring within the body.
The project aims to notably increase the sensitivity of such devices by increasing the axial coverage of the system. This increase in sensitivity can be used in several ways like reducing the radiation dose or acquisition time keeping the same image quality. Therefore, a direct benefit will be obtained by pediatric patients and patients that need various diagnostic tests to evaluate the efficiency of treatments. In addition, the axial coverage of the system will enable dynamic acquisitions of the main organs of the body simultaneously, paving the way for new medical applications. Efforts will be invested in providing excellent spatial and time resolution in such a complex system to generate images with very small details at the highest contrast.
In parallel to the newly developed prototype system, the initiative also supports the creation of postprocessing tools to advance PET/CT image analysis. Software developers will deliver image reconstruction algorithms and identify pertinent biomarkers to build the image processing platform.
Quibim, who has a long track record of building whole-body imaging solutions for systems biology problems, will provide whole-body segmentation to perform automatic quantification of the PET images.
Quibim CEO and co-founder Angel Alberich-Bayarri said: “We will create automatic pipelines to obtain a virtual in vivo dissection of key organs using AI and characterize radiotracer and radiomics features. The output will help clinicians reading a PET exam decide on which regions they must focus to support patient diagnosis and prognosis evaluation.”
The PHOENIX TBA has been formed by Quibim, Full Body Insight, a company dedicated to the exploitation of continuous scintillator technologies for the application of total-body PET equipment, and Oncovision, a specialist in molecular imaging equipment. The governance of the project is managed by the Technical Office led by the consulting firm Ayming.
The TBA has received the collaboration of public institutions such as the Institute of Instrumentation for Molecular Imaging, a joint research center created by the Spanish National Research Council and the Polytechnic University of Valencia that focuses on research into new imaging techniques in the biomedical field. Other partners include the Institute of Corpuscular Physics, a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council and the Valencia University that is dedicated to research in nuclear and high energy physics, and the Donostia International Physics Center, a foundation specializing in physical chemistry, photonics and computational chemistry. Furthermore, GE Healthcare will provide parts and technical expertise to help the consortium with its total-body PET/CT project.
The new prototype scanner should be ready by 2023.
Quibim, a company based in Valencia, Madrid and Palo Alto, California (USA), builds whole-body imaging solutions for systems biology problems. A prominent medical imaging analysis provider, Quibim plans to become the global leader in virtual biopsies, using quantitative imaging biomarkers to unlock complex diseases signals in medical images.
Clinicians, researchers and pharmaceutical companies use Quibim Precision®, an ecosystem of radiological medical image analysis applications, to assess every part of the body and in different clinical scenarios, from disease detection to monitoring the efficacy of new treatments.