CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ImageIQ, Inc., announced today that it will partner with the National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland Cord Blood Center (CCBC) to develop customized image acquisition and analysis software as part of the three-year biomedical technology and innovation project through an Ohio Third Frontier Program grant. The software, initially developed in conjunction with researchers at Cleveland Clinic, will be custom-tailored by ImageIQ to extract specific stem cell performance measurements that are important for assessing whether or not a cord blood unit should be banked and cryopreserved for future clinical use. ImageIQ provides custom-tailored preclinical and clinical imaging analytics, software engineering and visualization services for research, medical device and pharmaceutical organizations.
ImageIQ will use its extensive cell biology, image analysis and software engineering expertise to develop automated quantitative image analysis software, which will be coupled with a cell culture imaging technology and initially deployed at the Cleveland Cord Blood Center. The project includes ImageIQ developing an innovative imaging and image analysis technology for assaying the quality of umbilical cord blood units prior to cryopreservation and subsequent therapeutic application. The project is a collaborative effort among the NCRM, the Clinical Tissue Engineering Center (CTEC), CCBC and ImageIQ.
In addition to oversight, the Ohio Third Frontier Program will provide the necessary funding to execute the project over the course of three years. The Ohio Third Frontier is also a direct source of funding for both CTEC and NCRM. NCRM will provide administrative support for all of the program collaborators.
“This project highlights the depth and diversity of expertise in stem cell biology and cell therapy that is available in Cleveland, and the rich collaborative environment that we have established in Northeast Ohio,” said George Muschler, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon, Director of CTEC and the Principal Investigator for Cleveland Clinic. “The complex nature of our stem cell research and technology development programs necessitates a custom, application-specific approach to characterizing stem cells using image analysis and visualization. Pairing our stem cell biology expertise with ImageIQ’s experience in utilizing custom imaging and image analysis to improve stem cell research will enable our team to develop a truly valuable technology.”
CTEC, NCRM and CCBC will leverage more than a decade of cell-based life science research experience that the ImageIQ team garnered during its tenure within Cleveland Clinic, where it functioned as the Biomedical Imaging and Analysis Core.
“We are enthused to have been chosen by the CTEC and CCBC to support such a unique technology development program,” said Dr. Amit Vasanji, Chief Technology Officer at ImageIQ. “Our unique combination of stem cell imaging, image analysis, and software engineering expertise, and our ability to accelerate R&D and product development timelines will significantly enhance the work associated with this important collaboration.”
The use of umbilical cord blood stem cells as a starting material for stem cell research and therapies has steadily increased over the past decade. “As the Cleveland Cord Blood Center continues to expand its collection region and as cord blood emerges as a go-to source of material for stem cell transplantations and other therapeutic applications, the need for reliable quantitative quality assessments prior to banking a cord blood unit will be monumental to keeping costs low enough to enable the proliferation and long-term sustainability of the cord blood banking model,” said Mary Laughlin, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia, and Founder and Medical Director of CCBC. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work with ImageIQ and I look forward to the fruits of this collaborative effort.”
ImageIQ is an Imaging Contract Research Organization (ICRO) that combines software engineering with biomedical and imaging expertise to provide quantitative visual analysis that enhances R&D and product efficacy/safety testing for research, medical device and pharmaceutical organizations. Incubated within Cleveland Clinic for the better part of a decade, ImageIQ provides customized image analytics and reporting, delivering objective quantitative evidence that speeds time to discovery and market entry, reduces internal overhead and improves grant proposal attractiveness and fundability. By advancing the speed of research, ImageIQ customers can extend their expertise and abilities and complete work quickly, allowing innovative staff members to focus on creative solutions to research. www.Image-IQ.com
About the National Center for Regenerative Medicine at Case Western Reserve University
The National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) builds upon leading research and clinical programs at its founding institutions—Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland Clinic (CC), and University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC)—in heart disease, cancer, genetic disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases, coupled with a 30-year history of research on adult and pluripotent stem cells at these institutions. This combination of outstanding clinical and research programs combined with tested and proven experience of using adult stem cell transplantation to treat patients makes this center unique in the United States. www.ncrm.us
About the Clinical Tissue Engineering Center at Cleveland Clinic
The Clinical Tissue Engineering Center (CTEC) is a collaborative partnership between Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, NASA Glenn Research Center, Ohio Supercomputer Center, University of Cincinnati, Akron General Medical Center, NEOUCOM, and The University of Akron. In addition, CTEC comprises numerous regional, national and international commercial partners. This unique collaboration was founded with a $4 million award under Ohio's Biomedical Research and Commercialization Partnership Program from the Third Frontier Project and was refunded in 2008 with a $5 million grant. CTEC's mission is to accelerate the rate at which new tissue engineering discoveries and inventions are generated and translated into new treatments, products, companies and Ohio-based opportunities. CTEC investigators focus on translating tissue engineering strategies into methods, devices, diagnostic tools and therapeutics for the treatment of human disease. www.ctecohio.org
About The Cleveland Cord Blood Center
The Cleveland Cord Blood Center's (CCBC) cord blood bank was established to meet Ohio's need for umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells for use in both transplants and cord blood research. Initially, cord blood will be collected at major birthing centers in Northeast Ohio, incorporating the area's ethnically diverse population. Preliminary discussions are also underway with hospitals in other regions of the state. The Cleveland Cord Blood Center is dedicated to serving all populations regardless of their social economic class. CCBC is helping to enhance the region's ability to provide patients with suitable matched stem cells for treatment. The Cord Blood Center's diverse donor pool will help enhance the number of suitable matches available for the area's African American, Latino and Asian populations. www.clevelandcordblood.org
About the Ohio Third Frontier Program
Created in 2002, the Ohio Third Frontier is an unprecedented commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs. In May, the Ohio Third Frontier was extended through 2015 indicating a widely held understanding by the populace that technology and innovation will lead to economic prosperity both today and for future generations. Today, the Ohio Third Frontier is innovation creating opportunity. The $2.3 billion initiative supports applied research and commercialization, entrepreneurial assistance, early-stage capital formation, and expansion of a skilled talent pool that can support technology-based economic growth. The Ohio Third Frontier’s strategic intent is to create an “innovation ecosystem” that supports the efficient and seamless transition of great ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace. www.development.ohio.gov/ohiothirdfrontier
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