Siemens and Biogen to Jointly Develop New MRI Tools
By Medimaging International staff writers
19 Jan 2017
Siemens Healthineers and Biogen will jointly develop magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applications for quantifying key markers of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity and progression.
Siemens Healthineers’ core areas include diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, and laboratory diagnostics and molecular medicine. The company is also developing its digital health services and enterprise services. Biogen discovers, develops and delivers therapies for people suffering from serious neurological, autoimmune and rare diseases, including multiple sclerosis and hemophilia.
Physicians routinely use MRI to diagnose MS, measure disease activity and monitor response to therapy. Clinicians qualitatively evaluate MRIs by comparing the current MRI to the previous one. Various studies have shown that quantitative MRI measures can offer additional information about disease prognosis and therapeutic effect. However, the current quantitative measurement techniques with the precision and sensitivity needed for MS are mostly available only in the research setting. The development and validation of automated MRI applications for quantifying the key markers of MS, including new T2 lesions and brain atrophy, could benefit patients by providing enhanced data at the point of care. Both Siemens Healthineers and Biogen hope to share their expertise in imaging and neurology, respectively, to develop new measurement tools to meet the unique technical challenges of MS.
“By bringing together the shared expertise of both Siemens Healthineers and Biogen in imaging and neurology, respectively, we seek to develop new measurement tools that meet the particular technical challenges of MS,” said Dr. Christoph Zindel, Senior Vice President of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Siemens Healthineers. “Our shared goal is to create a solution that can be integrated into the existing radiology workflow, so it can become a seamless part of routine care – delivering new and valuable information to treating neurologists without increasing the cost or burden on the healthcare system.”
“Biogen believes that the availability of high-quality, standardized data at the point of care can lead to a deeper understanding of MS, more informed treatment decisions and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes,” said Richard Rudick, MD, Vice President Development Sciences, Biogen. “We also recognize that the ability to generate research-quality data in the course of routine clinical practice can unlock the potential of the health care system to move towards precision medicine.”