REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nocimed, LLC is pleased to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued US Patent Number US 8,761,860 (‘860 patent) on Jun. 24, 2014 for its “MR Spectroscopy (MRS) System and Method for Diagnosing Painful and Non-Painful Intervertebral Discs.” The ‘860 patent relates to a new MRS signal processing system and method for generating post-processed MRS spectra of improved signal quality. This allows quantitative spectral data to then be reliably extracted in order to provide accurate information about the chemical environment, and which may relate to certain disease pathologies, of tissues being tested in patients.
The ‘860 patent is solely owned by Nocimed, and adds to an expanding portfolio of other US and international patents in which Nocimed has exclusive rights. This patent portfolio, and Nocimed’s investigational clinical development efforts, are also directed toward a new MRS application for assessing the chemical environment in intervertebral discs of the spine. Nocimed hopes that these efforts might assist doctors in the future in diagnosing certain disc disease pathologies, such as in painful discs causing discogenic back or neck pain.
Jim Peacock, a named co-inventor under the ‘860 patent, is also founding CEO and Chairman of Nocimed. Mr. Peacock explains, “Our signal processing improvements were conceived and developed out of necessity, as conventional techniques were not succeeding to meet our needs or high standards for signal quality in order to robustly support our investigational application for disc diagnostics.”
Spectral signal:noise ratio (“SNR”) is an important MRS signal quality metric, and must be sufficiently high in order to accurately measure peak signals along a spectrum to assess the relative amounts of corresponding chemicals in the test tissue, and while avoiding significant variability in those peak measurements due to underlying noise artifact. Unfortunately, insufficiently low SNR has continued to challenge prior MRS applications in the past. Spectral SNR is also directly related to the volume of tissue being tested. Prior to Nocimed’s implementation of its new post-processing approach, there was some skepticism that conventional MRS could generate sufficient SNR in such small tissue structures as intervertebral discs. However, Nocimed’s post-processed results from >200 clinical disc acquisitions, presented at major radiology and spine research symposia earlier this year, have confirmed reliably high signal quality for disc tissue volumes as low as <1cc and with as low as <5mm minimum dimension. The ‘860 Patent, itself, also cites clinical study results that demonstrated a >4 times average (and as high as >7 times) SNR increase for final spectra produced by Nocimed’s new post-processor, versus the final post-processed spectra provided by the leading commercial scanner used to acquire that same raw MRS data from the same discs.
In addition to its immediate focus on intervertebral discs, Nocimed hopes that its patented signal post-processing technologies might also provide useful tools for improving spectral quality, and related diagnostic reliability, for other investigational MRS applications in the future.
About Nocimed, LLC
Nocimed, LLC is a ‘digital health’ company that is developing, and hopes to provide in the future, web/cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications or ‘apps’ for diagnostic imaging post-processing. Nocimed’s first investigational product is being developed as a cloud-SaaS app for post-processing MR spectroscopy (MRS) data from intervertebral discs of the spine. The Company hopes this will assist doctors assess disc chemistry for diagnosing certain disc disease pathologies in the future, such as for example in painful discs causing discogenic back or neck pain - a leading reported cause of worker’s compensation and disability claims and patient-doctor visits for middle-aged adults, and a leading category of all MR uses. The Company also continues to investigate other potential opportunities to address urgent unmet needs in spine diagnostics, and also to contribute value via its MRS post-processing and other technologies for addressing other areas of need in medical research and clinical medicine, in the future.
Nocimed was founded in 2008 as a Delaware Limited Liability Company, with its principal place of business in Redwood City, CA, and is privately funded by qualified accredited investors only. Further information may be found at www.nocimed.com.
NOTICE: Products and technologies described above, including the Nociscan Virtual Discogram and Sigpro, embody exclusive proprietary rights of Nocimed, LLC, including under certain copyrights, and granted patents and pending patent applications in the United States and other territories. Nocimed™, Nociscan™, Virtual Discogram™, Nocigram™, Sigpro™, and Autovox™ are proprietary trademarks of Nocimed, LLC. Copyright © 2014 (All Rights Reserved)
CAUTION: Investigational device. Limited by Federal Law to investigational use.