(WebFG News) - Radiation detection company Kromek has been awarded funding from Innovate UK for a three-year programme to deliver, in partnership with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a low-dose molecular breast imaging (LDMBI) technology based on its CZT-based SPECT detectors.
The AIM-traded company said the project, beginning in mid-2018, would be worth £1.4m.
It said that in the first phase of the project, it would utilise new developments in its CZT-based SPECT detector technology to reduce the required dose of radiation in molecular breast imaging, which Kromek described as a "cutting-edge technology" which used a radioactive tracer to identify tumours.
In that imaging technique, the tracer concentrated more heavily in malignant breast tissue, allowing the tumour to be easily identified irrespective of breast density.
By partnering with breast cancer experts at the Newcastle Hospitals for the development, the company said it would ensure that the technology was tuned to clinical and patient needs.
The LDMBI device would subsequently be used in a pilot study with the Newcastle Hospitals to demonstrate the clinical benefits of incorporating Kromek's SPECT detectors.
"This project is further evidence that CZT-based detectors are becoming a core technology in replacing legacy diagnostic products across the medical imaging sector," said Kromek CEO Dr Arnab Basu.
"Our innovative SPECT detectors are capable of significantly lowering radiation doses, thereby offering cost savings for health services and, crucially, making enhanced detection and early diagnosis of breast cancer accessible on a much wider scale.
"We look forward to collaborating with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as well as our OEM partner to carry out this vital work."
Louise Robson, joint acting chief executive for the Newcastle Hospitals, added that providing patient care which is safe and of the highest quality was a "key priority" for the NHS trust, and by working collaboratively, it would be able to ensure new, advanced treatments were as safe as they could be.
"We welcome working with Kromek on this exciting initiative, and hope to see many more similar ventures which benefit patient care, whilst placing the North East firmly on the map as a leader in healthcare innovation."