MINNEAPOLIS--()--A new approach to lung scanning, improving the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases affecting 11 million Americans, is being commercialized by a Minneapolis-based company called Imbio. “We are very excited to play a role in translating this important technology into the clinical marketplace,” said Imbio’s CEO, Danny Cunagin. “We hope to launch a non-FDA approved version of PRM for COPD by the end of 2012.”
“We hope to launch a non-FDA approved version of PRM for COPD by the end of 2012.”
In a new paper published online in Nature Medicine, a team from the University of Michigan Medical School, which includes researchers with ties to Imbio, reports on a technique called parametric response mapping, or PRM. They used PRM to analyze computed tomography, or CT, scans of the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD.
PRM could take COPD sub-typing to the next level, say the authors of the new paper. “By distinguishing small airway abnormality from that involving the lung parenchyma, such as emphysema, PRM could help physicians personalize therapy for individual COPD patients – and select patients for clinical trials of new treatment options more precisely”, says co-senior author Fernando Martinez, M.D., M.S., an internal medicine professor.
COPD, the nation’s third leading cause of death, limits a patient’s breathing ability, causing shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and reduced ability to exercise, walk and do other things. Over time, many COPD patients become disabled as their disease worsens. Most often associated with smoking, COPD can also result from long-term exposure to dust, and certain gases and chemicals.
Imbio has licensed the University of Michigan’s patents on the PRM technique, and is developing the technology for use in early prediction of treatment response of brain tumors and other forms of cancer.