Category: News

10 Mar 2020

Lung imaging software may fast-track coronavirus diagnosis

4DX chief executive and founder Andreas Fouras. Picture: Roy VanDerVegt
4DX chief executive and founder Andreas Fouras. Picture: Roy VanDerVegt

 

Posted on The Australian, 11 March 2020

An Australian medical technology company is hoping to forge the pathway to a fast-tracked coronavirus diagnosis by reducing the ­diagnostic time to three hours.

4DX is seeking to partner with an Australian hospital to conduct clinical trials of its lung imaging analysis software at an Australian hospital. There’s international interest brewing, with Duke University in the US and a Chinese university already wanting to use the technology.

The company’s chief executive and founder, Andreas Fouras, is an Australian aeronautical engineer whose research into wind flow across plane wings expanded into lung health analysis technology.

“It makes for a test that is really fast and completely reliable because there is no opportunity for human error to be included in how our tests are run,” Professor Fouras said. “The way that the virus impacts your lungs is it creates these regions that become inflamed and have reduced airflow and that’s the way in which the virus makes you sick. We’ve been able to prove that we are a very early detector of any disease in the lung.”

Pathology labs in Australia are currently screening for corona­virus using nasal and throat swabs that take 24-48 hours to be read by a specialist.

4DX says its technology has a three-hour turnaround from testing to diagnosis. Doctors would send a lung X-ray to the company which they would run through algorithm to reveal any signs of lung damage or reduced airflow.

 

Author: Adeshola Ore
Adeshola Ore is a reporter at The Australian. She previously reported and produced radio for BBC World Service in London and freelanced for Thomson Reuters Foundation in Melbourne. Adeshola holds an Honours Degree in Sociology from The University of Melbourne.

 

26 Apr 2019

FUNDING FOR GROUND-BREAKING LUNG DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY

 The Hon. Greg Hunt MP 

Minister for Health 

MEDIA RELEASE 

FUNDING FOR GROUND-BREAKING LUNG DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY 

The Liberal National Government will provide $960,000 for intensive research into new 4D diagnostic technology to allow accurate assessment of lung function in patients of all ages including the very sick. 

The Australian Lung Health Initiative headed by Professor Andreas Fouras is one of 10 highly promising research projects to be funded under Stage One of the bold Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Frontiers initiative. 

The project aims to deliver an original technology that is rapid, easy to use and safe, with less than 10 per cent of the radiation used by X-rays. 

Patients would not have to remain still or follow instructions, making it suitable for infants, children, older people and the very sick who are difficult to assess with current technology. 

In Australia, 7.1 million people—almost one in three—live with a lung disease. 

There are more than 30 types of lung conditions. Lung cancer, for example, is Australia’s biggest killer claiming more than 9,000 lives in 2017—more than breast, prostate and ovarian cancers combined. 

The five-year project will build on Australian company 4Dx Limited’s patented XV Technology™, a four-dimensional lung function imaging analysis, and new lose-dose imaging science. Professor Fouras is founder, chairman, and chief executive of 4Dx. 

The Australian Lung Health Initiative was formed to bring together world-leading Australian scientists, engineers, manufacturers and medical researchers to revolutionise lung screening and treatment. 

As well as 4Dx, it includes medical technology company Micro-X, the University of Adelaide, Monash University, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and Telethon Kids Institute, 

Devices developed from the project could have a substantial health impact here and around the world, as well as huge commercial potential. 

The funding is drawn from the Government’s ground breaking Frontier Health and Medical Research program, which is directing $570 million to Australia’s most innovative and transformational medical research. 

Frontiers creates an opportunity for Australia’s best and brightest to form formidable multidisciplinary teams to transform ideas from concept to outcome. Frontier awardees needed to articulate how their idea was novel and would position Australia as a global leader. 

Frontiers has a unique, two-stage structure developed in consultation with Research Australia. 

In Stage One, 10 selected applicants will receive funding of up to $1 million each over one year to develop detailed planning for their cutting-edge research projects. 

Each of the selected 10, like the Australian Lung Health Initiative, will be able to apply for Frontiers Stage Two with the opportunity to secure up to $50 million or more to realise their ground-breaking research plan. 

Applications were assessed by an International Scientific Peer Review Panel to ensure those recommended for funding would deliver new to world ideas and opportunities. 

This investment has the potential to transform healthcare and stimulate growth in the Australian medical technologies, biomedical and pharmaceutical sector, a vital part of the innovation economy. 

The Coalition Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into ground-breaking medical research, Medicare, mental health, life-saving medicines, and hospitals. 

ENDS 

 

To view the original article, please click here

07 Aug 2018

Medical imaging startup takes new approach to viewing lung disease

The company’s algorithms use existing fluoroscopy technology, which captures structures in motion and is commonly used to image the cardiovascular system or direct invasive procedures.

 

Lung diseases, like asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF) and COPD, affect millions of people worldwide. However, current diagnostics don’t necessarily provide enough data to support the best possible care. Spirometry tests how much air a patient can forcefully exhale. They provide good global information but don’t show which lung regions are most affected. CT scans can measure lung damage but are a trailing indicator and expose patients to significant radiation.

Melbourne, Australia-based 4Dx may have a new approach. The company has developed 4DxV, which converts x-ray images into more detailed airflow studies. The founder believes the additional information will improve diagnosis and disease control.

“As a mechanical engineer, the most obvious aspect of function is movement, especially in the heart and the lungs,” said 4Dx founder and CEO Andreas Fouras in a phone interview. “Our technology tries to create the highest resolution image of tissue movement. Once you have a detailed map of tissue motion in the lungs, from there, it’s a pretty simple step of calculating airflow.”

The idea germinated around 15 years ago while Fouras was a research assistant in a wind tunnel lab at Monash University. He was working on new algorithms to improve wind tunnel imaging when colleagues suggested his ideas could be applied to medical diagnostics.

The company’s algorithms leverage existing fluoroscopy technology, which captures structures in motion and is commonly used to image the cardiovascular system or direct invasive procedures. Retasking the existing technology could make it easier for hospitals to adopt the approach without a major capital investment.

“The kind of equipment we need in the hospital is only used about 60 percent of the time, which reduces the barrier to entry,” said Fouras. “Flouro allows us to get the (radiation) dose well below a CT scan.”

From a diagnostic standpoint, this approach could provide much richer information about disease progression. Spirometry measures forced expired volume (how much air a patient can blow out) in one second (FEV1), but this doesn’t necessarily provide the detailed studies pulmonologists need to identify severe regional disease.

“You have a developing problem in your lungs, 20 percent loss of ventilation in a region that covers 20 percent of your lungs,” said Fouras. “Well, 20 percent of 20 percent is only 4 percent. So, the best-case scenario on an FEV1 is a 4 percent reduction. An FEV1 isn’t considered clinical until you get to a 20 percent loss of ventilation.”

As a result, spirometry generally identifies problems after damage has become quite severe, but the 4Dx technology could potentially provide more precise regional data.

“In preclinical studies we’ve shown that we can detect the onset of conditions six or 12 times earlier than the old techniques,” said Fouras.

The 4DxV has generated interest from a variety of hospitals, including Cleveland Clinic and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Clinicians could use these studies to quantify a treatments efficacy or direct therapy. For example, for children with CF, treatment could be focused on the mucus plug rather than generalized throughout the lung.

“I think this is the future of trying to maximize getting functional information from your imaging studies,” said Marvin Nelson, who chairs the Department of Radiology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, in a phone interview. “It’s not just a structural study, you’re actually being able to use the technology to generate quantitative functional value.”

The company is closing out a Series B round and has been in talks with the FDA to pave the way for a 510(k) submission. They are also working on products to measure blood flow for the heart, as well as the lungs. Ultimately, these functional studies could provide a big boost in patient care.

“Being able to take a breath in while the x-ray is on,” said Nelson, “and being able to do all the calculations to generate that functional ventilation data off of that study, it’s going to be a tremendous advancement in doing high-throughput screening in populations for all these lung diseases.

To view the original article, please click here
03 Jul 2018

Seeing Asthma Differently with the 4Dx Scanner. Targeting specific airways instead of overall airflow

 

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute was recently awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to purchase a leading-edge preclinical scanner from 4Dx Limited, a Melbourne-based medical technology company, to investigate the causes and treatment of asthma. Cleveland Clinic becomes only the second institution in the world to own a 4Dx preclinical scanner (joining Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles), and the first to use it in the study of asthma. This new technology will push forward Cleveland Clinic’s asthma program, which is already one of the strongest and most funded in the country.

Asthma is a heterogeneous group of diseases. The specific airways that are affected vary from patient to patient and between types of asthma. Although researchers and clinicians have long known that asthma presents differently in different airways, the disease is diagnosed using a breath test that measures the average air flow in all airways. While this diagnostic approach is accurate, it cannot identify subregions of the disease process.

Kewal Asosingh, PhD, principal investigator for the NIH grant, believes the preclinical scanner — which works by analyzing X-ray images to measure air flow throughout each of the lungs’ airways — may transform how asthma severity is evaluated. “It will help physicians monitor the specific airways involved in asthma accurately, which will enable us to understand and treat the disease in a more targeted manner,” he says.

The team at Lerner Research Institute will use the scanner to test in preclinical models drugs currently approved to manage and treat asthma, as well as new compounds developed at Cleveland Clinic. They will measure the effects that new and existing drugs have on specific airways. They may find, for example, that drugs that improve overall airflow might not actually target the diseased airways, and vice versa.

With purchase of the preclinical scanner, Cleveland Clinic will be in the unique position to conduct preclinical assessment of new drugs and validate results in clinical studies using 4Dx’s clinical product (software imaging processing that analyzes airways visualized using standard clinical scanners). This will allow Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians to conduct translational analyses in patients, helping to accelerate the important path to new clinical discoveries.

“As the incidence of asthma is on the rise, it is critically important that we can accurately diagnose and treat the disease to the best of our ability. The 4Dx scanner is the key to both,” adds Dr. Asosingh.

Dr. Asosingh is staff scientist in the Department of Inflammation and Immunity and Scientific Director of Flow Cytometry at Cleveland Clinic.

To view the original article, please click here

25 Jun 2018

4Dx 2017 Retail Investment Round Closing 28 June

4Dx Limited is pleased to announce that our retail fundraising offer, under our Offer Information Statement disclosure document dated 20 October 2017, will be closing on 28 June 2018, fully subscribed.  We are currently taking oversubscriptions and the offer remains open to all Australian residents.  Please visit: http://invest.4dx.com/ to access our online application portal.

Existing shareholders may participate through the “Shareholder Offer”, and new investors may participate through the “Public Offer”.  It is essential that cleared funds are received before close of business next Thursday 28 June 2018.  We warmly welcome the sharing of these details to your extended network.  Following closure of the investment round, and with no concrete plans for any further retail rounds, this may be the last opportunity for retail investment in 4Dx.

The company has been overwhelmed with the level of interest in our world-first technology and take this opportunity to thank everyone who has expressed interest in 4Dx, and welcome all new shareholders to the 4Dx Group.

We look forward to providing you with company updates as we continue to expand, and encourage you to access the news section of our website:
http://4dx.com/news/

24 Jun 2018

Australian National Imaging Facility (NIF) to Establish 4Dx Research Eco-system in Adelaide

4Dx is pleased to announce that following increased Federal Government budget to the National Imaging Facility (NIF), a 4Dx technology translational research eco-system will be established in Adelaide.

Operating out of the SAHMRI LARIF Node of NIF location, collaborators will be able use 4Dx technology on mice, sheep, pigs and in clinical research studies, in a turn-key operation.

Co-funding is being actively sought and a media release is currently under development.

To find out more about the NIF, please click here.

23 Jun 2018

2018 American Thoracic Society (ATS) Conference

4Dx attended this year’s American Thoracic Society (ATS) Conference held May 18-23 in San Diego.

ATS represented a unique opportunity to launch 4Dx Group brands to industry and communicate our unique offering to Physicians and Researchers.  It also facilitated dialogue with the pharmaceutical industry.  Our core conference objectives were to solicit interest in Top 50 hospitals to collaborate with 4Dx.

The trade show exceeded all expectations:

  • Strong engagement from visitors with quality collaboration interest shown from targeted organisations
  • ATS ranked 4Dx stand in top 4% of all exhibitors (# 3 in our category)
  • 420 individual 4Dx leads captured
  • 14x collaborator/KOL 1:1 meetings conducted at the stand
  • Requests from a number of “Top 50” organisations to collaborate with 4Dx, with the  expectation that priority collaboration agreements will be in place by end of Q3

To watch an overview of 4Dx at ATS 2018, please click here.

22 Jun 2018

Second National Institutes of Health Grant to 4Dx

A second major USA hospital has received a grant award of US $600,000 from the United States National Institutes of Health for the purchase of a 4Dx preclinical lung scanner.  Scheduled for delivery later this year, the second scanner will greatly increase the profile of 4Dx and showcase how 4Dx technology will assist in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of asthma.

A joint media release is currently being prepared.