Daily News: February 1, 2012

GE healthymagination Fund Invests in Check-Cap

GE Capital and GE Healthcare announced an investment in Check-Cap, 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-Cap’s 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 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.

The investment is aligned with GE Healthcare’s 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.

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 Israel.”

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 States.