Click below to listen to the national radio news segment on 4DMedical’s FDA approval:
Click below to listen to the national radio news segment on 4DMedical’s FDA approval:
As posted on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website, Tuesday, May 5
(Below is an excerpt from the original article. Click HERE for the full, original article.)
…Australian medical tech group 4Dx have also invented a field ventilator that is simple to operate, easy to train staff to use and can be used outside of a traditional hospital setting as a “lung first-aid” piece of equipment.
“We saw a need, I guess, to make sure that there was something that was cheap and simple and could be made around the world in large numbers at low cost, so that whoever needed a ventilator and whether they are in an ICU or not could have access to one,” 4Dx founder Professor Andreas Fouras told the ABC.
The company has built a prototype ventilator that can be manufactured with simple parts and at a fraction of the cost.
ICU ventilators cost between $15,000 and $30,000 each. The current 4Dx model costs around $2,000 to make, but Professor Fouras believes the cost can be brought down even further.
“This is a great example of Australian researchers banding together to provide a solution in the fight against COVID-19 and an opportunity for the Australian Government to support our Pacific Island and South-East Asian neighbours by leveraging Australian technology,” Professor Fouras said.
South Australian charity The Hospital Research Foundation has provided an initial grant of $25,000 to fund the independent testing of the ventilator by the University of Adelaide.
The foundation’s CEO, Paul Flynn, said this was the fourth COVID-19 research project they had supported.
“We are very impressed by the potential of the ventilator to have an impact in the lives of patients in across the world, particularly in developing countries,” Mr Flynn said.
A new non-invasive tool, called XV Technology™, allows professionals to visualize airflow in a living lungs and could help in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and other respiratory lung diseases, scientists report.™
The technology was developed by researchers at Monash University, and has been patented by the Australian-based med-tech company 4Dx Limited. The company states that XV technology showed its potential in a clinical trial in people being treated for cancer.
A proof-of-concept preclinical study in mice, “Real-time in vivo imaging of regional lung function in a mouse model of cystic fibrosis on a laboratory X-ray source,” was also published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
Current ways of diagnosing respiratory lung diseases, such as pulmonary function tests and imaging techniques (chest X-ray, CT scans, MRIs), can have drawbacks, the company notes on a webpage. While some of these tests are poor at detecting early stages of lung disease, others can require sedation or radiation doses, or lack sensitivity and resolution.
“The early diagnosis and ongoing monitoring of genetic and chronic lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and lung cancer, is currently hampered by the inability to capture the spatial distribution of lung function in a breathing lung,” Rhiannon Murrie, PhD, with the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash and a study leader, said in a press release.
“Since pulmonary function tests are measured at the mouth, these tests are unable to localise where in the lung any change in function originates. Additionally, CT scans, while providing quality 3D images, cannot image the lung while it is breathing, which means airflow through the airways and into the lung tissue cannot be measured,” Murrie added.
Airflow and lung function can be measured using phase contrast X-ray imaging (PCXI), an imaging technique shown to provide sensitive and high-resolution images of lung tissue in animal studies, and one that can track airflow through the airways.
PCXI detailed images allow “the application of four-dimensional X-ray velocimetry (4DxV) to track lung tissue motion [lung expansion and contraction throughout the breath], and provide quantitative information on regional lung function,” the researchers wrote.
“Structural changes from obstructive lung diseases such as asthma, COPD, emphysema, and CF will alter the airflow within the bronchial tree, and change the 4DxV lung expansion map, allowing poorly ventilated regions of the lung to be located,” they added.
But PCXI, while a validated imaging technique, requires high-tech synchrotron facilities. (A synchrotron is a particle accelerator that allows the study of different materials and living matter.)
Researchers at Monash translated this technology into a laboratory setting, and validated a high-speed, custom-built version in a CF mouse model by acquiring images of the lungs and airways of living mice at 30 frames per second.
The technology was able to capture differences in airflow between CF mice and healthy mice serving as controls. Airflow was uniform throughout the airways of healthy mice, which translated to an equal expansion and aeration of lung tissue in both the left and right lung lobes.
In mice in a model of CF, it took longer for the air to be expelled from the left lung, indicating an obstructive airway path and a reduction in local lung function.
“Our study is a demonstration that a wealth of lung function information can be obtained from measures of lung motion in a laboratory setting,” the researchers wrote.
“These 4DxV techniques are a novel tool that will enable localised quantification of a range of respiratory diseases to be made in small animal models, and in the future will likely facilitate advances in patient diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring,” they added.
According to the team, a 2D version of this technology is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for diagnostic purposes in a clinical setting.
“The ability to perform this technique in the lab makes longitudinal studies on disease progression and treatment development feasible at readily accessible facilities across the world,” Murrie said.
Six of this study’s 14 researchers have interests in 4Dx Limited, and three are listed on its patents. Andreas Fouras, the study’s lead author, is the company’s CEO.
4Dx is continuing to grow!
Two new job postings for the Melbourne office were posted today on our Careers page:
Melbourne, Australia, 20 February, 2017: Dr. Andreas Fouras, founder and CEO of medical technology company 4Dx Limited, will present preliminary clinical data at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop on the 2nd of March at the University of Pennsylvania.
The software technology developed by 4Dx provides richer information, allowing for earlier detection of respiratory related disease. Dr. Fouras, who founded the company in 2012, says that “presenting the first 4Dx in human clinical data is a great milestone for the company and we are excited to share these results to many of the world’s leading lung imaging experts at such a prestigious event”.
4Dx technology enables clinicians to capture images that effectively visualise and quantify motion of airflow at high resolution within the breathing lungs. Currently more than 162 million respiratory diagnostic procedures are performed each year, at a cost of $25 billion per annum.
4Dx limited currently has a range of formal engagements with some of the leading institutions across the United States and is moving rapidly towards a commercial product in the United States by 2018.
4Dx is excited to announce that Paul Cooke will be taking on the role of General Manager of 4Dx’s specialist hardware subsidiary, Notting Hill Devices. As Paul moves into this role, he will be stepping aside from his role as Non-Executive Director, effective 1st September. During his tenure as Non-Executive Director, Paul played a key role in lifting 4Dx’s profile during our recent capital raising endeavours.
Andreas Fouras, Founder and CEO of 4Dx, spoke with Nature Index on the recent call from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for public consultation on the structural review of their grant program.
Following criticism that current funding models are failing to support researchers across all stages of their careers, the NHMRC have opened the debate around three proposed alternative models to review research grant submissions: two based largely on funding people, as individuals or teams; and one that supports ideas.
Andreas joins the camp to support funding people, stating that the disadvantage of funding projects or ideas is that review panels struggle to evaluate projects that draw on multidisciplinary expertise, “there are no panels for research identified as belonging to ‘other’ fields, ” he says.
To read the full article click here.
We are pleased to announce that our recent retail offer of shares is now fully subscribed after successfully raising AU$500,000.
It is very encouraging to gain backing so enthusiastically from retail investors committed to seeing our technology come to market as fast as possible.
These funds take us a step closer to commercialising our technology through ongoing clinical validation and expansion of our US operation, where Founder and CEO, Andreas Fouras, is now based.
We would like to thank all of our investors for their ongoing support and will continue to update you with news as we reach significant milestones.
To find out about future opportunities, please register your interest here.
4Dx was interviewed by AuntMinnie.com, an influential community site for radiologists and related professionals in the medical imaging industry.
In the article “Advanced visualization tool assesses lung disease”, Eric Barnes interviewed the 4Dx team on the new technique they have developed that combines fluoroscopy and advanced visualization to generate high-resolution images of the motion and airflow of lung tissue.
“The patients breathe under fluoro and we can record the motion of the tissues, and from that we can quantify a number of things, like ventilation,” said Andreas Fouras, CEO and Founder of 4Dx.
4Dx uses software to segment and track the bronchial tree and estimate airflow inside that part of the body. The team explained that, assuming air inside the lung and lung tissue is incompressible, the calculated lung expansion directly represents airflow into and out of the lung regions.
Asked how the technology will be used, Andreas explained that they foresee a number of clinical applications.
“Depending on the nature of the disease, it may be easier to see the disease through an image of the ventilation, or it may be easier to see it on the airways themselves where you can see the airflow going through,” he explained. “It primarily depends on whether the disease is restrictive [affecting the tissues] or obstructive [affecting the airways].”
4Dx has tested the technology in animal studies and has started performing human trials with leading Australian and US hospitals.
Andreas believes the images to be very powerful for diagnosis of common lung disease, and, more importantly, for the monitoring and follow-up of a patient as a disease progresses, or as a patient undergoes treatment.
To view the original article “Advanced visualization tool assesses lung disease”, by Eric Barnes is available to members at AuntMinnie.com.
The AFR cover insights from last weeks meeting of 400 of the top people in the innovation sector, where Andreas Fouras, CEO of 4Dx, highlighted one of the biggest problems Australia faces as it seeks to become high tech nation.
Contrary to the risk taking the government would lead us to believe is encouraged as a nation, when researchers leave academia and attempt to commercialise their research, if it doesn’t work out, they are rarely taken back.
Taking a leap of faith to quit a career to go and build a startup is daunting enough, but as noted by Andreas, as an academic, you want to be sure.
Andreas is so convinced of the merit of his research he sold his house, quit his job and relocated his entire family to the US.
Click here to read the full article.