Additional Financing pushes Quantitative Medical Imaging closer to being a Clinical Reality
We would like to congratulate Gold Standard Phantoms (GSP) on securing £840,000 extra in financing to help bring its first product QASPER, an imaging standard for Arterial Spin Labelling Perfusion MRI, to market.
Previous investment and award funding, such as the prestigious Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare’s Phase I and Phase II awards in 2015 and 2016 for £1.1 million, has enabled GSP to bring QASPER from an early stage prototype through to commercial product.
With this product, GSP aims to establish itself as a key provider of calibration services for clinical quantitative medical imaging worldwide. QASPER’s features include a unique MRI-compatible pump design, the use of proprietary technology to simulate capillary blood flow and it is calibrated to international standards. ASL is a magnetic resonance imaging technique for measuring tissue perfusion using a freely diffusible intrinsic tracer. ASL is non-invasive in nature and offers the ability to quantitatively measure tissue perfusion, which makes this method ideal for research and clinical studies.
Quantitative Medical Imaging as a clinical reality?
Indeed, despite its wide acceptance in research, Quantitative Medical Imaging is not yet a clinical reality. Intrinsically quantitative methods such as ASL are still not used in daily clinical practice due to the lack of internationally recognised standards and governance to enable quality assurance of quantitative data. Whilst true advancement into everyday clinical practice may take some years, QASPER will provide the enabling step to make the clinical use of quantitative ASL possible.
Crucially GSP’s approach so far is unique in the market, as most other companies interested in quality assessment and control provide only reference devices. GSP provides a complete reference system, simulating a physiological parameter, together with an easy to access cloud-based online system to assess the deviation in the measured parameters with the calculated theoretical ones. Nobody so far has this whole system in place, which GSP aims to do with their product.
Achieving widespread clinical use of quantitative ASL would have a great impact on patients by enabling a far earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. ASL has significant diagnosis potential, with one particular study that looked at a data-driven analysis of the ADNI data suggesting that assessment of perfusion through ASL was the earliest biomarker to deviate from normality and the one showing the greatest early change. Earlier diagnosis will allow patients with dementia to begin receiving treatment sooner and improve their chances of living independently for longer.
Xavier Golay, one of the founders of GPS, says “We are extremely happy to have been able to raise our first round of capital to allow us to develop the whole business aspect of our company and to start the next revolution in clinical MRI”. With this investment, GPS has also been able to welcome Frédéric Schenk, Group Vice President at SGS, and Riccardo Pavoncelli of Augmenta Capital to GSP’s Board of Directors.