Green light from FDA for CT lung-imaging software that got its start at U-M Medical School

December 02, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A technology that started in a University of Michigan Medical School lab may soon help lung disease patients around the world breathe a little easier, by helping their doctors make a clearer diagnosis and more individualized treatment plan.

Imbio, a startup launched from the University of Michigan in 2007, has just received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell its software platform based on U-M research. Called Lung Density Analysis or LDA, it analyzes images of patients' lungs with detailed precision.

The new FDA 510(K) clearance allows doctors to use Imbio's LDA system in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which affects over 60 million people worldwide.

The software allows doctors to carefully analyze a patient's CT (computed tomography) lung scan and look at how their disease is affecting their ability to fill their lungs with air and to push it out when they exhale. The company is also developing techniques for analyzing other lung images, and images of cancerous tumors, to guide treatment using variations of the same technology.

Not only does the technology have its roots in the U-M Department of Radiology's Center for Molecular Imaging, it was also tested thoroughly by a separate team of U-M Health System lung-imaging experts.

Together, they published the results of their in-depth testing in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine in 2012. For more on that study, and the concept first created at U-M, visit http://umhealth.me/copdprm .

The technology grew out of basic laboratory research at U-M by the company's co-founders, Brian Ross, Ph.D., and Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D. Both now act as scientific advisors to Imbio.

"It's incredibly gratifying to see this concept grow from an idea in our lab, to a product ready for market," says Ross. "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." He credited the university's research and technology transfer environment for helping the concept reach the marketable stage.

Ella Kazerooni, M.D., chief of cardiothoracic imaging at UMHS, led the clinical evaluation of the technology, using images from the COPDGene trial that involved thousands of COPD patients around the country.

"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," says Kazerooni. "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."

The LDA approach uses powerful computer techniques to overlay the CT scan taken during a full inhalation with an image taken during a full exhalation. The overlaid, or registered, CT images share the same geometric space, so that the lung tissue in the inflated and deflated lungs aligns. The density of healthy lung tissue will change more between the two images than the density of diseased lung, allowing researchers to create a three-dimensional "map" of the patient's lung function

The software assigns colors to each small 3-D area, called a voxel, according to the difference in signal changes within each of the areas between the two scans. Green means healthy, yellow means a reduced ability to push air out of the lung's small air sacs, and red means severely reduced ability.

Ross is the Roger A. Berg Research Professor of radiology and professor of biological chemistry at the U-M Medical School, while Rehemtulla is the Ruth Tuttle Freeman Research Professor of Radiation Oncology. Kazerooni is a professor of radiology and member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Ross and Rehemtulla have a financial interest in the company, but do not receive salary or consulting income. Kazerooni has no financial interest in the company or involvement in its operations. The University has a financial interest in the company via its licensing agreement.
-end-
The University of Michigan has a vibrant environment for innovation and commercialization activities. For more information about technology or startup opportunities from the University of Michigan, see http://www.techtransfer.umich.edu.

For more information about Imbio and the LDA software platform, see http://imbio.com.

University of Michigan Health System

Related COPD Articles from Brightsurf:

Promising therapeutic approach against COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common and deadliest diseases worldwide.

COPD underdiagnosed in older adults, but can be managed
''Recognizing and Treating COPD in Older Adults'' the latest issue of the What's Hot newsletter from The Gerontological Society of America, addresses what is known about the prevalence, incidence, and impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in older adults.

Undersized airways may explain why nonsmokers get COPD
A mismatch between airway and lung size may explain why some nonsmokers get COPD and some heavy smokers do not, according to a new study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Is pulmonary rehab after hospitalization for COPD associated with better survival?
Claims data for nearly 200,000 Medicare patients were used to examine the association between starting pulmonary rehabilitation within 90 days of being hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and survival after one year.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

COPD as a lung stem cell disease
Two internationally renowned stem cell researchers at the University of Houston have found an abundance of abnormal stem cells in the lungs of patients who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a leading cause of death worldwide.

New hope for COPD patients possible with in-home device
In a new paper published Feb. 4 in JAMA, Mayo Clinic researchers describe the benefits of in-home noninvasive ventilation therapy, which includes a type referred to as bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPAP -- for many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD appears to cause more severe symptoms in women
Women who develop COPD report smoking fewer cigarettes than men; and yet, women experience greater breathing impairments, are subjected to more acute exacerbations of symptoms and report lower quality of life than men with the disease, according to research presented at ATS 2019.

African-Americans with COPD appear less likely to use pulmonary rehab
African-American patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are less likely to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation programs than white patients, even when there are programs nearby.

COPD and type 2 diabetes
COPD and type 2 diabetes are two highly prevalent global health conditions associated with high mortality and morbidity.

Read More: COPD News and COPD Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.