& MILWAUKEE & ISFIYA, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GE Capital and GE
Healthcare, the financial services and healthcare divisions of General Electric
Company, announced today an investment in Check-Cap, Ltd., a developer of an
ingestible imaging capsule that may help detect colorectal cancer. The
investment is being made through the GE healthymagination Fund, an equity fund that makes
investments in highly promising healthcare technology companies.
Check-Caps 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
“Check-Caps 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.
The investment is aligned with GE Healthcares expanding
focus on colon cancer management solutions that can improve healthcare
globally, as well as GEs 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 the United
States, colorectal cancer is the 3rd most
common and the 2nd leading cause of cancer death.
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
Healthcares nuclear medicine and bone densitometry systems.
“Over the past 15 years GE Healthcare has benefited from Israels 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 Israel.”
The investment in Check-Cap reflects GE Healthcares
continuing interest in innovative clinical stage healthcare technologies. As an
investor, GE Healthcare will look for various ways to work with Check-Cap that
complement the strategic objectives of its healthymagination 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 United States Food & Drug
Administration concerning appropriate clinical activities to support approval
to market the product in the United
“We are pleased to have GE be a new investor and
collaborator,” said Guy Neev, Chief Executive Officer of Check-Cap. “GEs
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.
GEs experience in the imaging space will be a significant contribution to our
efforts as we progress in our clinical and regulatory program towards
The GE healthymagination Fund is part of GEs $6 billion
healthymagination initiative, a global commitment to deliver better healthcare
to more people at lower cost. The Fund targets three broad areas for
Broad-based Diagnostics, including imaging, home health,
patient monitoring, molecular diagnostics, pathology, novel imaging agents and
other technologies for disease diagnosis
Healthcare Information Technology, including electronic
medical records, clinical information systems, healthcare information exchanges
and value-added data services
Life Sciences, including tools for drug discovery and
biomedical research, and technologies for manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals
The Fund draws on capabilities from across GE Healthcare, GE
Capital and GE Global Research, and has a global footprint. For further
information about the fund, visit www.healthymaginationfund.com.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that
are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging
and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems,
drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance
improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver
better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we
partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change
necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the
world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused
on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world.
Headquartered in the United
Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General
Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed
to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100
countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.
About GE Capital
GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of
financial products and services. For more information, visit www.gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter
About Check-Cap Ltd.
Check-Cap is a medical device company focused on the development of
gastrointestinal imaging devices. The Companys lead product is an endoscopy
capsule which utilizes proprietary, low energy X-ray-based measurement
technology to safely generate high resolution 3-D imagery of the colon without
cleansing or other aggressive bowel preparation. This patient-friendly solution
is designed to be attractive to physicians and patients, thereby increasing the
patient compliance with the screening recommendations of physicians and other
The Check-Cap imaging capsule is being developed to create a
reconstructed image of the colon and to detect clinically significant polyps
with high degree of sensitivity. The imaging capsule, which will be swallowed
by the patient, is designed to be propelled by natural motility through the
gastrointestinal tract. Unlike other colon cancer screening methods, this
process will not disrupt a patients normal activities or require fasting.
Patients using this imaging capsule will not be required to undergo any prior
bowel cleansing because the imaging capsule employs X-rays, allowing it to image
the lining of the colon even when surrounded by intestinal content.
Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT