SAN FRANCISCO, August 15 -- A fluorescence optical imaging technology that enables in vivo imaging of molecular processes was introduced today at the second annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Imaging. Siemens Medical Solutions, which developed technology -- called bonSAI -- said it is expected to have a profound impact on the way drugs are developed and the way diseases are understood and treated.
"Fluorescence imaging techniques are of particular interest to drug discovery and development because of their low cost, versatility and high-throughput capability," said Markus Rudin, head of the Analytical and Imaging Sciences Unit at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, one of several prototype-testing sites for bonSAI. "Fluorescence imaging techniques increase the value of study, as repetitive observations of the progression of disease in vivo are possible," he said.
Siemens collaboration partner Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, added, "The adaptation of fluorescent optical techniques to diagnostic imaging is now changing the way we visualize molecular processes in vivo, and ultimately, in the clinic."
bonSAI was developed to support the needs of pharmaceutical and biotechnology research organizations by aiding in target identification and early prioritization of candidate drug compounds, thus speeding up research and development efforts and decreasing time to market. In addition, bonSAI has broad applications in basic academic research, Siemens said. It is an enabling technology that allows new information on molecular parameters to be obtained via biomedical research.
"Siemens Medical Solutions is actively investigating the impact of molecular imaging on clinical workflow and disease management," said Erich Reinhardt, president and CEO of Siemens Medical Solutions. "If fluorescence imaging techniques prove effective in preclinical efforts, we believe they ultimately will enable new applications to noninvasively detect disease. If we can catch disease earlier, patients can be treated earlier, which typically translates into better chances of survival and more cost-effective treatment."
Molecular imaging allows noninvasive measurement of molecular and biological processes within the living body. Compared to conventional diagnostic imaging, molecular imaging probes the molecular abnormalities that are the origin of disease, rather than imaging the resulting conditions or morphologies caused by the disease.
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