Cancer is much more than a statistic when it becomes your diagnosis or that of a loved one. Treatments continue to evolve with on-going scientific and technological innovations that bring hope to millions of family members suffering from various forms of cancer that threaten their lives.
Imagin Medical, a surgical imaging company, is focusing on bladder cancer, the sixth most prevalent cancer in the U.S. and the third most common cancer in men. It is the most expensive form of cancer to treat over the lifetime of a patient because the cancer will return in more than 50% of cases. Approximately 600,000 people are living with that fear in the U.S. today. It is estimated that in 2021, 83,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed, and more than 17,000 deaths will occur.*
The conventional method of diagnosing bladder cancer uses white light to illuminate the bladder and is used in 90% of cystoscopy procedures today. This technology has been used for decades and its limitations in visualizing tumor margins and flat cancerous cells that result in high recurrence rates have been well documented.
A more recent technology, Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC), was introduced to address the limitations of white light by adding a blue filter and an imaging agent that highlights the margins of the cancerous cells, providing much improved visualization for removal. Current BLC technology has been proven to result in the removal of up to 24% more tumors than white light cystoscopy alone, yet it has been adopted by less than 10%**of the medical community due to high cost and feature inconveniences, leaving the technology inaccessible many institutions and patients.
Imagin Medical hopes to significantly accelerate the transition to BLC and make it more accessible to those who will benefit from it. Imagin is developing a blue light imaging system that would maintain the advantages of the current BLC method while offering state-of-the-art technology that provides surgeons with real-time, simultaneous, side-by-side white and blue light images at significantly lower cost. Leading urologists have told Imagin that the simultaneous, side-by-side view would make bladder cancer visualization and removal more accurate and efficient and help advance the goal of reducing recurrence rates. Imagin is designing its system to adapt to most endoscopes on the market, which would allow hospitals to use equipment they already own and save additional costs.
Based in Boston, Imagin’s experienced management team is developing the i/Blue Imaging System to meet the BLC needs of urologists and has defined a regulatory path to achieve FDA approval. Imagin’s intellectual property is well-protected with additional patents being filed based on final design innovation.
Imagin intends to build on the i/Blue technology, which is being developed for use with hexaminolevulinate hydrochloride (HAL), and adapt its technology to other FDA-approved contrast agents, such as Indocyanine green (ICG). Such future products will expand Imagin’s market potential, facilitating entry into multiple endoscopic procedures, such as laparoscopy.