The development of novel medical imaging techniques to revolutionise cancer detection and treatment will be the result of a new partnership announced today between Queen's University Belfast and Cirdan Imaging Ltd.
The research will focus on developing new imaging equipment using X-rays and near Infrared (NIR) Fluorescence to assist clinicians in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Complete surgical removal of a tumour is vital for the patient, and one of the most important prognostic factors for survival. The new devices will be used in diagnostic procedures, as well as cancer surgery, to better discriminate between healthy and malignant tissue.
Cirdan Imaging's first new device will be an imaging tool developed to assist Radiologists to take a biopsy from a suspect lesion to help diagnose breast cancer. This product is planned to be launched within the next 12 months.
Queen's University have taken an equity shareholding in Cirdan Imaging Ltd through its venture spin-out company QUBIS Ltd, representing their first ever company spin-in.
Dr. Hugh Cormican is CEO of Cirdan Imaging. His previous collaboration with QUBIS led to the creation of Andor Technology, the fastest growing company manufacturing high performance digital cameras in the world today, employing some 260 people in 16 offices worldwide.
Speaking about the new partnership, Dr Cormican said: "I am delighted to be working with QUBIS and Queen's University again, and I look forward to the collaborative efforts in developing new cancer imaging techniques. We know that speed of detection and treatment of cancer is critical to patient outcomes and we hope that through this new faster, more efficient technology, patient outcomes and survival will be improved.
"Queen's University is one of the world's leading research centres for cancer research, and with our collaboration we can help bring the benefits of that research to impact on patient's lives in considerably shorter timescales than occur elsewhere in the world. In business terms we anticipate that there is also the potential to be the next IPO (AIM stock exchange listing) for Northern Ireland in five years time."
QUBIS CEO, Frank Bryan, said: "QUBIS is delighted to be involved in supporting this research initiative which will help develop safer, more cost effective, user friendly and compact diagnostic tools for early, more accurate diagnosis of cancer globally. Research into cancer has predominately been on getting an improved understanding of the disease, or on new therapeutics. Cirdan Imaging is focused on developing more accurate detection tools for the clinicians to better diagnose and treat the cancer, an area which has lagged behind. The team in Cirdan have an impressive track record in imaging technology and we are excited to be involved in this project."