Diagnostic imaging, business  

Synergis invests in PET camera for cancer detection

26 March 2007

London, UK. Synergis Technologies Ltd. has led a venture capital syndicate investing into Petrra Ltd, a developer of an new positron emission tomography (PET) camera. The new PET camera can diagnose heart disease and cancer more accurately and faster than current cameras, and at a lower cost.

Petrra focuses on redefining the positron emission tomography (PET) market by providing a lower-cost, higher-speed, higher-throughput detection system. The device used for PET imaging is known as a positron camera. Synergis Technologies Ltd is provides seed and early stage funds to help turn innovative research from universities and leading public sector research establishments into significant commercial value.

PET technology uses specially designed radioactive tracers which provide diagnostic images of organs in the body and help diagnose cancer, plus other conditions. The tracers are injected into the body and then picked up by a scanner, which translates the images into 2D form.

Petrra’s unique, patented approach to PET is based on technology developed for radiation detection used in high energy physics. For clinical use, this requires a high detection efficiency for the recognition of the gamma rays produced as well as excellent spatial and timing resolution.

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common cause of death in the UK. Around one in five men and one in six women will die from the disease this year. In addition, CHD costs the health care system in the UK around £1.6 billion annually. In the United States, CHD causes well over 500,000 deaths annually and is the single leading cause of death in America today.

More than one in three people in England will develop cancer at some stage in their lives. One in four will die of cancer. This means that, every year, over 200,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and around 120,000 people die from cancer. So, better prevention and detection is a national priority.

Petrra is backed by significant technology from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London (RMH). RAL has a long and distinguished history in the development of radiation detectors, primarily for use in high energy physics. RMH is one of the world’s premier cancer research hospitals. Petrra is backed by a strong Board, consisting of several well-renowned personnel in the health care technology field.

Shimi Shah, CEO, Synergis Technologies stated, "This is an exciting investment and we look forward to being a part of the development of this next generation technology. The use of PET scanners looks set to achieve rapid growth both in Europe and the US for the use in both oncology and cardiac monitoring, with Bio-Tech Systems estimating that global sales are growing at a current rate of 15% a year worldwide."

" The Petrra detector provides the capability to separately measure the energy, timing and position of each event detected, which will facilitate the use of advanced data processing techniques when used for the diagnosis of cardiac and cancer related illnesses," said Ian Buckley-Golder, Non Executive Chairman, Petrra. "We are very pleased about working with Synergis in future on providing cheaper, more productive and possibly better quality PET images."

To top

To top