Philips, Schering plan to partner in optical imaging

November 29, 2005

Philips and Schering are collaborating in breast imaging, using a fluorescent dye developed by Schering and an experimental optical scanner under construction by Philips. The two technologies will be merged as part of a phase I clinical trial that could begin some time next year.

Philips and Schering are collaborating in breast imaging, using a fluorescent dye developed by Schering and an experimental optical scanner under construction by Philips. The two technologies will be merged as part of a phase I clinical trial that could begin some time next year.

The fluorescent dye omocianine will be injected into the bloodstream, absorbing energy from a pulsed laser. The blood pool agent will then fluoresce, transmitting light back to the Philips scanner for reconstruction into images. The presence of abnormal vascular beds apparent in the images will indicate tumors, according to Philips.

A commercial device is several years away, as the safety and efficacy of the device and imaging agent must be documented to win FDA approval for marketing in the U.S. The clinical trials planned for next year will begin to provide that documentation.

In the meantime, Philips and Schering may expand their alliance to cover other imaging technologies and contrast agents that might lead to synergies, according to the companies. They have agreed to split equally all research and development costs as well as all future revenues from the contrast agents, medical equipment, and related services related to this partnership.