Lumedica receives NIH-STTR award to investigate a SOCT GI probe alongside Dr. Jatin Roper at Duke University

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – Lumedica Inc. receives a $256,323 NIH-NIBIB Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to research and develop a low-cost, high-performance, spectroscopic optical coherence tomography (SOCT) device for evaluating colonic polyps during colonoscopy procedures. Lumedica will partner with Duke University and Dr. Jatin Roper to investigate the clinical and commercial feasibility of a GI probe equipped with OCT. 

OCT is the gold standard for detecting eye disease. However, there are many potential biomedical applications for OCT imaging. Lumedica’s propriety OCT engine technology can be easily configured to parameters, such as imaging speed, imaging resolution, and depth. Therefore, it is the ideal system to test novel technologies. The objective of the STTR study is to design a novel scanning probe that will fit within the standard workflow of an endoscopy.

Dr. Jatin Roper, a gastroenterologist and gastrointestinal cancer geneticist at the Duke Cancer Center and the Duke Endoscopy Clinic says that “although there are many recent improvements in colorectal cancer screening with colonoscopy, many precancerous lesions are missed because of inherent limitations with standard light detection and diagnosis.” A recent study lead by Dr. Adam Wax, founder of Lumedica and professor at Duke University, and Dr. Roper demonstrated that OCT aids in the accurate identification of precancerous polyps and colon cancer in mice.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Frequent screenings and the removal of colorectal polyps, identified in the procedure under investigation, have decreased the mortality rate for colorectal cancer in recent years. The clinical advantage of a SCOT GI probe is to acquire accurate imaging during the entire procedure without the need to take a biopsy. Another goal is to see precancerous changes in inflammatory bowel disease, which is not possible with current technologies. By building a better imaging device doctors will be more likely to identify areas of concern and prevent the development of colorectal cancer for more patients.

Lumedica Inc. is a previous recipient of both Phase I and Phase II SBIR funding which resulted in the development of a highly effective retinal OCT imaging system at an affordable price point. The resulting device, the OQ EyeScope, is undergoing clinical trials and is expected to be commercially available in early 2022.

About Lumedica

Lumedica is comprised of believers and builders of affordable healthcare technologies. With a proven track record in scientific innovation and product development, Lumedica creates affordable light-based scientific and medical instruments that deliver accurate imaging results. Leveraging off-the-shelf and custom imaging components, Lumedica builds imaging devices that are lower cost, more durable, and easier to distribute. Our first initiative is building a novel, patented device to administer OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) imaging technology — the gold standard for retinal imaging — to detect chronic, asymptomatic eye diseases. The company was founded in 2014 based on research conducted at Duke University’s BIOS Laboratory. Other technologies and innovations are in the development pipeline.

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