from the March 2012 issue

GE Invests in Ingesting Imaging Capsule

GE Capital and GE Healthcare, the financial services and health care divisions of General Electric Company, have invested in Check-Cap, a developer of an ingestible imaging capsule that may help detect colorectal cancer. The investment has been made through the GE Healthymagination fund, an equity fund.

In addition to this, Check-Cap and GE Healthcare have also entered into a development and supply agreement, where GE Healthcare-Israel will develop, design and produce miniature Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) diagnostic imaging sensors inside each Check-Cap capsule to enable clinicians to obtain full 360-degree imaging as the capsule travels in the colon.

Check-Cap's ingestible and disposable imaging capsule is planned to have the capability to image the colon in 3D. The capsule will require no bowel cleansing before ingestion and no hospital visit, allowing patients to go about their daily routines without having to alter their activities.

Mike Harsh, Vice President, GE and Chief Technology Officer, GE Healthcare, said, "Check-Cap's technology is not only innovative but it presents great promise to change the standard of patient care and to help them avoid the discomfort of traditional colonoscopies."

The investment is aligned with GE Healthcare's expanding focus on colon cancer management solutions that can improve health care globally, as well as GE's broader healthy imagination initiative, which focuses on reducing cost, increasing patient access and improving quality in health care. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Almost 60 per cent of the cases occur in developed regions. About 608,000 deaths from colorectal cancer are estimated worldwide annually, accounting for eight per cent of all cancer deaths and making it the fourth most common cause of death from cancer. In the US, colorectal cancer is the third most common and the second leading cause of cancer death.

"Over the past 15 years GE Healthcare has benefited from Israel's spirit of innovation and scientific discoveries. Seeking partnerships between a global company such as GE and Israeli high-tech companies like Check-Cap can truly be a win-win for all. This represents the first GE healthy imagination Fund investment in Israel," said, Oded Meirav, Manager, GE Global Research-Israel Technology Center.

The investment in Check-Cap reflects GE Healthcare's continuing interest in innovative clinical stage health care technologies. As an investor, GE Healthcare will look for various ways to work with Check-Cap that complement the strategic objectives of its healthy imagination initiative. Check-Cap plans to introduce its ingestible imaging capsule in the European Union in late 2013, subject to CE Mark regulatory approval. The company also is in discussions with the US FDA concerning appropriate clinical activities to support approval to market the product in the US. Guy Neev, Chief Executive Officer, Check-Cap said, "We are pleased to have GE be a new investor and collaborator.

GE's investment is an acknowledgement of the patient need we are addressing as well as the clinical promise of our technology. Colon cancer is the most deadly, preventable cancer that patients currently experience. Our goal is to reduce patient mortality by facilitating dramatically increased patient adherence with the physician screening recommendations, allowing earlier detection and treatment. GE's experience in the imaging space will be a significant contribution to our efforts as we progress in our clinical and regulatory programmed towards commercialization."

The GE healthy I imagination Fund is part of GE's $6 billion healthy imagination initiative, a global commitment to deliver better healthcare to more people at lower cost.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report March 2012

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