Imbio, a biotech startup launched in 2007, recently received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell its Lung Density Analysis (LDA) software platform to analyze images of the lungs of patients suffering with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
This technology was developed at the University of Michigan Medical School by Brian Ross, Ph.D., and Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D, and can greatly improve lung disease patients’ breathing capacities by helping doctors make more precise and accurate diagnoses and prescribe individualized treatment plans.
The software will contribute to improving the lives of more than 60 million COPD patients throughout the world. The software can analyze computer tomography lung scans and can facilitate the identification of inhaling and exhaling issues. The company is also developing techniques for analyzing other lung images, cancerous tumors and other ways to guide treatment by creating multiple variations of the technology. The software was tested by a different team from the University of Michigan and the results of both development and testing were published in the Nature Medicine journal in 2012.
Through overlays of CT scans of full inhalation and full exhalation, the LDA software creates a 3-D image of the tissues and creates a map of how the lungs are functioning.
Ross, one of the heads of this project, credited the university and its capabilities that made the creation of the technology possible: “It’s incredibly gratifying to see this concept grow from an idea in our lab, to a product ready for market. We look forward to seeing how clinicians worldwide can use the LDA approach to benefit patients, and we’re grateful to all who have helped this concept reach this exciting point through many years of research and product development.”
“This groundbreaking technique reveals functional information about the lung’s performance that is not available through other means and will allow us to tailor more individualized treatment for these patients. We are very excited to see the technique launched as a commercial product, after years of development in our image processing lab and extensive clinical research in thousands of COPD patients,” said Ella Kazerooni, M.D. that lead the clinical evaluation process.