Tissue and Airway Evaluation for Emphysema Intervention

Period of Performance: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vida Technologies
Iowa City, IA 52242
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): VIDA Diagnostics is taking a leading role in pioneering new image display and analysis tools which take advantage of the rapid advancements in multi-row detector computer tomography (MDCT) of the chest. The company is providing software solutions for the image directed diagnosis and therapy of common pulmonary diseases. There is now a critical need for objective quantitative tools for both assessing lung structure an function as well as guiding novel interventions. With this phase II SBIR, we seek to continue our efforts to combine our parenchymal and airway analysis to plan, guide and evaluate endobronchial-based interventions. The management of pulmonary emphysema and of lung cancer is currently undergoing major change. With emphysema, novel therapy in the form of one-way valves within the bronchial tree, is in clinical trials both in the United States and Europe with multiple companies introducing products. This therapy (referred to as endoscopic lung volume reduction therapy) requires that the valves be placed endoscopically to all of the airways subtending the most severely affected lung lobe. Because of poor patient lung function it is highly desirable that the valve placements be performed efficiently and effectively. This requires substantial pre and intraoperative computer based planning, with analysis and evaluation of the subtending airways, as well as of the emphysematous lung parenchyma. VIDA Diagnostics has utilized a phase 1 SBIR to develop highly relevant software solutions (developing as the Pulmonary Pathfinder) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these procedures, has engaged all of the major companies within this health care space, in maturing and testing the solutions. Additional interest is being shown by other companies in software solutions for stent placement in a compromised airway. Lung cancer has seen a major new interest in early detection through MDCT screening. Early detected lesions are lung nodules, of which only about 3% are malignant. Expensive hardware solutions to facilitate biopsy of these lesions have been developed very recently, including bronchoscopic ultrasound and magnetic tracking devices. VIDA Diagnostics, as part of the effort to provide a road map to the region of lung emphysema, will develop simple software solutions to facilitate lung nodule pathfinding to assist in real time bronchoscopic biopsy procedures. Such visualization tools should add to lung nodule biopsy success rates, and reduce substantially the need for expensive surgical options. VIDA Diagnostics is facilitating bench to bedside evaluation and incorporation of these pulmonary path finding software solutions into clinical practice, and is enjoying substantial across the board encouragement and interest from pulmonologists, supporting companies and from the wider community. Advances in medical imaging and novel, non-surgical therapies for lung disease make it critical to accurately detect, measure, and track lung abnormalities. This project aims to develop methods for identifying lung disease and to help a physician plan non-surgical interventions via the airways. These methods are urgently needed to take advantage of emerging therapies for the early treatment of lung disease.