Skip to main content
Press Release

GE to Accelerate Development of Nanoparticle Based Imaging Agents to Diagnose Cancer and Heart Disease Earlier

September 22, 2008

GE's imaging agents to enable more personalized therapies for patients

NISKAYUNA, New York - September 22, 2008 -- GE Global Research, the technology development arm for the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), announced a two-year cooperative research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to accelerate the development of cutting-edge nanoparticle based imaging agents that have the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and heart disease.

Researchers in GE's Nanotechnology Lab have developed promising nanoparticle based imaging agents that could increase imaging resolution and sensitivity. The ability to see and target disease with higher resolution and sensitivity could promote the detection of cancer and cardiac disease at much earlier stages. These agents could also be used to more rapidly and accurately monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

NCI's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), operated by contractor SAIC-Frederick Inc., will apply its leading-edge nanotechnology characterization tools to evaluate the safety and feasibility of GE's nanoparticle diagnostic imaging agents.

"The backbone of GE's Early Health vision is to see, diagnose and treat disease at its earliest stages, so that we can improve patient outcomes," said Dr. Amit Kulkarni, Manager, Chemical Nanotechnology Lab, GE Global Research. "GE's nanoparticle based imaging agents have the potential to be huge enablers of a new medical imaging paradigm, not only in the treatment of cancer but also cardiac disease, by allowing clinicians to see, target and treat disease at much earlier stages than what is possible today.

Dr. Kulkarni added, "The NCI's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory will be a tremendous asset in helping us accelerate the process for fully assessing the safety and effectiveness of GE's imaging agents."

GE's development of nanoparticle based imaging agents is a major part of its advanced technology program in nanotechnology and is supported by GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. GE's Nanotechnology Lab has a strong, multi-disciplinary team of more than 70 scientists. The team is focused on leveraging new discoveries in nanotechnology to improve products across GE's diverse business portfolio, from health care to other areas such as energy, aviation and security. The study of nanoparticles to develop new imaging agents is a key example of how researchers are leveraging nanotechnology to support the company's Healthcare business.

The NCL is a collaboration of the NCI, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and is part of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. The NCL has developed a series of protocols that produce a detailed characterization profile for many different kinds of nanoparticles with potential medical applications. These characterization profiles ensure that biomedical researchers have precise information about the particles, such as size, morphology, purity, chemical composition, and stability. These protocols also include toxicology tests that were recently adopted as standards by ASTM International.

The cooperative research and development agreement between GE and NCI is the first under NCI's new Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative, which seeks to accelerate the delivery of new products to cancer patients.

About GE Global Research

GE Global Research is one of the world's most diversified industrial research labs, providing innovative technology for all of GE's businesses. Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as medical imaging, energy generation technology, jet engines and lighting. GE Global Research is headquartered in Niskayuna, New York and has facilities in Bangalore, India, Shanghai, China and Munich, Germany. Visit GE Global Research at

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at

About GE

GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at GE is Imagination at Work.

Todd Alhart
[email protected]

business unit