Kromek has secured funding from Innovate UK for two research programmes that will advance the development of a low-dose molecular breast imaging (MBI) technology based on the company’s CZT-based SPECT detectors.

The first project is worth £0.5m and will run for 18 months. It aims to prove the feasibility of single photon detector use for ultra-low-dose MBI and will be carried out by Kromek alone.

The second project is a three-year programme worth £2m that will be conducted in partnership with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and University College London.

It has been designed to aquire and deliver clinical data on a low-dose MBI system.

The two projects represent Innovate UK and the partners’ further commitment to the development of a low-dose MBI solution.

Kromek Group CEO Arnab Basu said: “Current routine breast screening does not meet everyone’s needs because of its shortcomings in detecting cancers in dense breast tissue, a particular concern for younger women.

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“Low-dose molecular breast imaging, which solves this, has the capacity to save thousands more lives, detecting cancers earlier, before they have time to spread.

“This additional funding from Innovate UK will allow us and our partners to collate the data needed to progress to clinical tests and then deployment. We look forward to working with our partners to complete the programme.”

Being developed by Kromek and the company’s partners, the technology uses low-dose MBI to provide effective cancer detection with lower radiation exposure.

CZT needs far lower radiation doses to provide clearer images, enabling the solution to deliver less radiation than existing MBI technology.