GE healthymagination Fund invests in Check-Cap's ingestible imaging
6 February 2012
GE Financial Services has announced that it has invested in
Israeli company Check-Cap Ltd, a developer of an ingestible X-ray
imaging capsule that may help detect intestinal polyps and colorectal
The investment is being made through the GE healthymagination
Fund, an equity fund that makes investments in highly promising
healthcare technology companies.
Check-Cap’s ingestible and disposable imaging capsule, which is
still undergoing development and has not yet passed (excuse the pun)
regulatory approval, 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.
“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,” said GE
Vice President & GE Healthcare Chief Technology Officer Mike Harsh.
GE says the investment is aligned with its expanding focus on
colon cancer management solutions that can improve healthcare
globally, as well as GE’s broader healthymagination initiative,
which focuses on reducing cost, increasing patient access and
improving quality in healthcare. 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% of the cases occur in developed regions. About
608,000 deaths from colorectal cancer are estimated worldwide
annually, accounting for 8% of all cancer deaths and making it the
fourth most common cause of death from cancer.
In addition to the financial investment and as part of a broader
collaboration, Check-Cap and GE Healthcare have 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. GE has years of experience in the area of CZT-based
detectors and similar technologies have been used in GE Healthcare’s
nuclear medicine and bone densitometry systems.
“Over the past 15 years GE Healthcare has benefited from Israel’s
spirit of innovation and scientific discoveries,” said Oded Meirav,
Manager of the GE Global Research–Israel Technology Center. “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 healthymagination Fund investment in
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 United States.
"We are pleased to have GE be a new investor and collaborator,”
said Guy Neev, Chief Executive Officer of Check-Cap. “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 program towards commercialization.”