Press Release, 1 March 2019, Brno, Czech Republic

Collaboration in research as well as training were the topics discussed today during the visit of Vice-President and General Manager for Global Research Bram Stolk and a group of other high-ranking research managers from GE Healthcare to the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne´s  University Hospital in Brno, Czech Republic (FNUSA-ICRC). GE Healthcare, the third largest medical technology company in the world, has been watching the development of FNUSA-ICRC since its inception a decade ago and has been discussing closer collaboration with the center.

FNUSA-ICRC was established with the financial support of the European Union as an international multidisciplinary center for medical research in St. Anne´s University Hospital, one of major university hospitals in the Czech Republic. Since 2011, FNUSA-ICRC has built its research portfolio and produced many results such as the novel ultra-high-frequency ECG, developed in collaboration with Institute for Scientific  Instruments of the Czech Academy of Sciences and patented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2018.

The visit of high-ranking managers from GE Healthcare highlighted opportunities for collaboration between FNUSA-ICRC and GE Healthcare : „We presented the prototype of the novel ECG technology and discussed its potential applications in cardiology, but we also showed our guests several other of our laboratories and discussed orther areas of potential collaboration, such as nuclear medicine or magnetic rezonance“, says Gorazd B. Stokin, Chair of the research center.

„FNUSA-ICRC has several unique laboratories for development and testing of medical devices, such as the clinical pharmacology unit for First-in-Man clinical trials of novel medical devices, or underground premises for testing devices using very sensitive signals, absolutelly shielded from the outside environment“, adds Martin Pavlik, Director of St. Anne´s University Hospital

„We were impressed by the facilities and the skills of FNUSA-ICRC research teams. Several areas for potential collaboration were discussed, such as a new diagnostic method of nuclear cardiology which would be more patient friendly than existing methods“,  added Bram Stolk, vicepresident and general manager for global research of GE Healthcare. „We currently produce a fast and highly sensitive SPECT scanner, which, combined with the ultra low-dose Thallium protocol developed by FNUSA-ICRC could reduce the standard dose by almost one half. We also discussed collaboration enabling a localized treatment of cardiac arrhytmias“.

The group from GE Healthcare included Bram Stolk, Vice-President and General Manager for Global Research of GE Healthcare Perry Frederick, Director for Strategic Research in Europe, Reed Busse, Global Research Manager for magnetic resonance technology, Azim Celik, Research Manager for Eastern Europe, and Jan Novák, Czech Republic & Slovakia Country Manager.

Also present were representatives of U.S. Embassy in Prague and American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic. „The Czech Republic and the United States both have a long history of R&D and innovation. So it is natural that many Czech Universities and research centers work together with their U.S. counterparts to collaborate on new medical advancements to improve treatments and save lives. ICRC Brno stands out in particular as it not only cooperates with U.S. hospitals and universities but also with U.S. manufacturers who are shaping the future of healthcare innovation,“ said Ariel Jahner, U.S. Embassy Prague Economic Officer.

About GE Healthcare:
• The company is one of the world's leading medical technology companies. GE Healthcare is a provider of medical imaging, monitoring, biomechanics, cell and gene therapy, supported by digital technology. The total volume is $ 19 billion.
• It operates in 140 countries with more than 50,000 employees worldwide. It has 16,000 employees in Europ.
• More than 100 years of experience in healthcare include many innovations and industrial primacies, including an X-ray, mammograph with patient assistance, and artificial intelligence ultrasound.
• Cooperates with leading physicians, researchers, pharmaceutical and healthcare technology providers, technology vendors and health ministries to improve healthcare outcomes.
• Invests in our future in areas such as analytics, artificial intelligence, device performance management, cloud, additive technology and cell and gene therapy.
• Ready to work in the center of the ecosystem, delivering the promise of "Precision Health" - using data and analysis from our diagnostic, therapeutic and monitoring companies to allow more predictive and individual patient care:
• Accurate diagnostics - Data-driven diagnostics promotes better individualized clinical and operational decisions.
• Accurate treatment - Provides accurately developed and targeted therapies and interventions to patients.
• Accurate monitoring - today's monitoring focuses on sick patients, but new solutions enable cost-effective, proactive, preventive monitoring.

About the FNUSA-ICRC Research Center:
• An international interdisciplinary research center built up with a significant financial contribution from the European Union within the St. Anne´s University Hospital in Brno
• Focuses on heart and brain disorders/diseases and selected oncological diseases.
• The aim is to find new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic methods for problems that prevent healthy aging.
• It currently has 30 research teams and employs 400 staff from 20 countries.
• Researchers ot he Center have received a number of awards in 7 years, including one of the Czech Head, the Alzheimer's Association for Young Scientists, the European Stroke Organization Award for Contribution to Stroke, or the Austrian Ministry of Innovation.
• In the short term of its existence, it has produced 2 patents and 7 utility or industrial models for new technologies.
• Its researchers publish in the most prestigious foreign journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, or Science Translational Medicine.
• Cooperates with a number of reputable foreign research centers, such as the renowned American Mayo Clinic, the University of California, University of Oxford, or the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
• Cooperates with many industrial companies from the Czech Republic and abroad, is a strategic partner of the American company IQVIA, the largest provider of clinical trials.

Visit of GE HealthCare at FNUSA-ICRC - Photo 1Visit of GE HealthCare at FNUSA-ICRC - Photo 2Visit of GE HealthCare at FNUSA-ICRC - Photo 3Visit of GE HealthCare at FNUSA-ICRC - Photo 4
Visit of GE HealthCare at FNUSA-ICRC - Photo 5

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