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Q&A con VP de Bruker de la proyección de imagen preclinical

por Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | April 12, 2013
Mat Brevard
Preclinical imaging makes up an important part of the market that is often overlooked. Mat Brevard, vice president of preclinical imaging for North America at Bruker, spoke with DOTmed News about how Bruker is growing this market and what exciting breakthroughs and technologies lie ahead.

DMN: What's been happening at Bruker in the last few years and why are things ramping up at the moment?
MB: We were founded 53 years ago with our first products in the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chemistry world. Starting in 1983, we were making human and animal MRI systems and also human CT. In the very early 90s we brought one of the first 3T MRI systems to market and also acquired the animal MRI business of GE. The 90s saw a lot of focus on 3T as the FDA cleared ultra high field MRI for marketing in 1998. Into the early part of the 2000s the clinical focus of these instruments sharpened as they were approved for clinical use. Bruker made a conscious decision, as a company for scientists, of scientists, by scientists, to concentrate on our core competency and focus on the production of research animals MRI systems. From that point forward we have steadily expanded our install base and product offerings to achieve a product line synonymous with animal MRI the world around. We adopted this area [preclinical research] because this is what we are good at. At the same time, we realized MRI is just one tool. So last year we looked at other tools and we bought SkyScan micro-CT [now Bruker microCT] to make animal and sample micro CTs. In the fall we also brought Carestream's preclinical molecular imaging division to bring a line of world class molecular imaging instruments into our company.

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DMN: In preclinical research, how do CT and MRI differ?
MB: MRI has great applications in many fields and is a well-established technology for a broad range of investigations. Its strong points are certainly neurology, soft tissue and oncology. So MRI is very powerful but there are things it just doesn't do as well that CT can do like looking at fine bone structure. There are also price points. CT is a little cheaper. We adopted CT because it brought in things that MR didn't do and also for the value proposition of some CT systems. For optical and PET and SPECT, we find similar compliment to the MRI products with the ability to specifically mark something and see it with high specificity.

DMN: Where has preclinical research been valuable?
MB: Certainly CNS [central nervous system] indications, CNS pathologies and CNS based drugs are very much a solid part of pharma and academic research's portfolio. There are animal models for Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis for example, which gives the ability to look at a drug in development, in mice. It's very beneficial to image a mouse model of your disease and test your compounds early before humans take it. For oncology, we grow human based tumors, that is, we take human cells and put them in mice and grow them in order to basically test that tumor type with new drugs and treatments. Per a keynote speech at one of our meetings, the head of Developmental Biology at St. Jude [Children's Research Hospital], Michael Dyer Ph.D., said that if time and money were not an impediment, we would take samples of the tumor, grow them in many mice and then watch them over time and try different drugs on them and come back and cure the person with a high success rate. But it's expensive and some cancers work much faster than that. It's a very powerful model though. So when you can create your specific tumor line and specific biomarker to find that tumor and find your drug and bring your drug there, that development has been powerful. Of the top pharmaceutical companies, a vast majority of them use a Bruker MRI scanner to do research.

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