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GE Healthcare, Varian to collaborate on MRI system

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GE Healthcare and Varian, Inc. announced that they will begin a collaboration to develop a new pre-clinical 7T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system. Under the agreement, initial development and integration will be a joint effort between the two companies. Once development is complete, Varian will offer customers a fully integrated 7T System combining GE Healthcare’s state of the art electronics, user interface, pulse-sequences and applications with the magnet, gradients, positioning devices and RF coils provided by Varian. “This is an example of the terrific working relationship GE and Varian have established,” said Jim Davis, general manager of the global MR business for GE Healthcare. “We are combining the best of our technology with the best of Varian’s technology to create a very advanced 7T MR system for research purposes.” Garry Rogerson, President and CEO, Varian, added, “Pre-clinical imaging is a key area of growth for Varian. We are very pleased to be entering into this collaboration with GE. Our established MRI product range is highly regarded by the MR scientific community, and this new system enables us to reach beyond our traditional customers.” Pre-clinical magnetic resonance imaging is a versatile and non-invasive method to investigate anatomy, metabolism, and physiology in research models. It has a broad range of applications in soft tissues, including brain and organ imaging, tumor assessment, disease progression, and functional imaging. In research, other potential applications include investigation of new contrast mechanisms and agents, monitoring gene expression, analysis of protein interactions, and determination of pharmacokinetics. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging is a closely related technique, used to measure the concentrations of specific molecules in the body, enabling direct measurement of neurotransmitters in the brain or metabolites in muscle. “We feel this system is an ideal addition to our existing pre-clinical MRI product line,” said Martin O’Donoghue, Vice President, Scientific Instruments, Varian, Inc. “It will appeal to the burgeoning group of researchers who have experience with GE MRI systems. We feel this will give them the pre-clinical MR imaging tool they have been looking for.” “This promises to be an important advance in pre-clinical MR,” said Jim Mitchell, general manager of Molecular Imaging technologies for GE Healthcare, and the leader for pre-clinical technologies. “We have made an enormous effort to ensure GE Healthcare is the place researchers look first for the most advanced imaging technology for pre-clinical applications. Together with Varian we anticipate being able to expand our preclinical imaging offering which currently includes PET, SPECT, CT scanners as well as dual and tri-modality imaging systems.”

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