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Naviscan II + Mayo Clinic

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Naviscan II + Mayo Clinic

San Diego-based Naviscan PET Systems, Inc., a privately held company with deep ties to Mayo Clinic , recently launched its second generation of its super, duper (my description) body scanners at the annual Radiological Society of North America in the Windy City.

Here's how the device was described in the company press release:

PEM Flex Solo II is the first commercially available FDA-cleared, organ- specific, high- resolution PET scanner. Solo II is intended for use as an adjunct imaging modality and utilizes Positron Emission Mammography (PEM). PEM is a specialized form of PET technology that provides radiologists, breast surgeons, oncologists and nuclear medicine a new tool to image and characterize the scope of the disease at a metabolic rate.

Photonics improvements in the new Solo II yields higher count rate sensitivity while maintaining resolution capabilities that image cancers as small as 1.5 - 2.0mm, unprecedented in any other modality. The Solo II has also added an articulating arm, a motorized C-arm, and compression capability, enabling technologists to more easily position patients for optimal views and improved chest wall access.

Now Mayo Clinic entered into an agreement with Naviscan on Nov. 29 of 2005. Part of that included this piece:

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Mayo Clinic has licensed the vitamin B-12 molecular imaging agent technology invented by Dr. Douglas A. Collins to Naviscan PET Systems, Inc and will receive royalties from this license.

So it seems Mayo will get cash out of this project.

And Naviscan has already gotten cash out of Mayo Medical Ventures. MMV was listed as "participating" wiith Sanderling Ventures to giftwrap $6.5 million funding for Naviscan. That was coincidentaly also announced on Nov. 29. HHmmmm… That was busy day for folks in Rochester and San Diego.

I tried to find out last year how much of that $6,5 million MMV contributed. And here's how that went:

I asked exactly how much of the $6.5 million they kicked in to Naviscan’s coffers and I was told "unfortunately" that is not information they typically release. I asked if anyone had asked before and tried to convince them I was not "typical" and thus outside of the usual boundaries.

I was told if they wanted that information released, they would have included it in the press release.

Anyway, I cannot find that Mayo Clinic has any clinical trials connected to this underway at the moment. Though I would speculate that may change in 2007.

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Here's a quote from today's release about the second generation:

Dr. Judy Kalinyak, MD, PhD, internist, endocrinologist, and nuclear medicine specialist, recently joined Naviscan as Medical Director. "We are very excited about the clinical trials with PEM in 2007. I believe it will change how we screen and diagnose breast cancer, specifically in the in situ stage, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality."

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