SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 -- Emory University (Atlanta, GA) has licensed its Emory Reconstruction Toolbox (ERTb), software designed to improve the quality and accessibility of nuclear cardiology images, to Syntermed. Syntermed (Atlanta, GA) is a nuclear medicine imaging and informatics software company spun out of Emory.
ERTb performs image reconstruction and synthesis, quality control and correction for patient and physical phenomena to provide high-quality myocardial perfusion SPECT images for cardiovascular diagnosis.
SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) is a non-invasive, three-dimensional, functional imaging technology that provides clinical information about biochemical and physiologic processes in patients. This is done by imaging and quantifying the distribution of radionuclides in the body that are used to label molecules, drugs, antibodies, neurotransmitters and other compounds. These tracers are used to detect biochemical and physiologic processes that may signal the early progression of coronary artery disease.
ERTb was developed by Emory medical scientists Ernest Garcia, PhD, and Ji Chen, PhD, and their colleagues through a grant from the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA).
ERTb, which can be used on any standalone PC, is designed to be the image-generating "front end" for the widely used Emory Cardiac Toolbox, a set of software tools for evaluating cardiac images. The Cardiac Toolbox software was developed by Garcia and his colleagues at Emory and elsewhere over the past 20 years; it is used in almost half of the cardiac laboratories in the US.
Syntermed will market ERTb as ReconTools, which it is introducing at this week's American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) 2008 annual meeting.
"SPECT studies are a critical part of diagnosis and prognosis of coronary artery disease," says Garcia, who is a professor of radiology at Emory University School of Medicine. "As software imaging technologies continue to improve, diagnosis becomes increasingly detailed and accurate. Among other things, the ERTb software was developed to automate the detection and correction of patient motion, reconstruct and synthesize images and correct subtle physical changes that can degrade accuracy in SPECT imaging."
The original Emory Cardiac Toolbox was the founding technology of Syntermed, established in 1999 as an Emory spin-off of research, technology and existing licenses to the major medical imaging companies. Today the Toolbox has five other tools to support 3-D cardiac imaging of heart perfusion, including the recently FDA-cleared SyncTool, which is designed to accurately select heart failure patients who would benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Garcia is the scientific founder and chief scientific advisor of Syntermed. The company is co-owned in part by Emory and Georgia Tech.
The GRA works with Georgia companies through its Technology Partnerships Program, which provides grants to university researchers conducting collaborative research with a Georgia company that will help the company to develop or refine its products and processes. The company matches the grants dollar-for-dollar.
"A major goal of the Georgia Research Alliance is to help Georgia companies tap into the research resources of our universities. This collaboration is an excellent example of how this can lead to new product and market opportunities," says H. Lee Herron, GRA Vice President of Commercialization.