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VisEn Medical Introduces NanoSPARKS™ Line of Optical Imaging Probes

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VisEn Medical has announced the introduction of the first three products in a line of optical imaging probes. Called NanoSPARKS™, the product line uses targetable, biocompatible nanoparticles for imaging of biological and molecular processes in vivo.

Together with VisEn’s Fluorescence Molecular Tomography™ (FMT™) system and a broad portfolio of optical imaging agents, the NanoSPARK probes further expand applications of molecular imaging in basic research and drug development.

VisEn made its announcement at the annual conference of the Academy of Molecular Imaging in Orlando, Florida, where the company introduced the first three NanoSPARK products:

AminoSPARK™680 is a platform label that can be conjugated to a range of targeting molecules, including peptides, antibodies and small molecules of choice, thereby enabling customtailored molecular imaging in multiple disease areas.

CellSPARK™680 is a nanoparticle label used to track the location and movement of cells (including immune cells and stem cells) in vivo, a tool for research in cell trafficking in vivo with subsequent FACs analysis (Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting).

AngioSPARK™680 is a nanoparticle probe that is designed to enable ultra-long and ultra-bright fluorescent imaging of vascularity and angiogenesis, tailored for applications in intravital microscopy.

"We are thrilled with the prospects for the NanoSPARK product line, which significantly extends the flexibility and range of applications offered by our optical molecular imaging technology platforms," said Kirtland G. Poss, President and CEO.

"Combined with our novel activatible optical probe platform, our FMT system, and our other in vivo optimized imaging probes, this introduction truly underscores our leadership in the development of today’s molecular imaging products."

The "680" designation in each of these products refers to their approximate excitation wavelength.

VisEn expects to make these NanoSPARK products available for sale in the second quarter of 2006 and further plans to launch additional NanoSPARK products later in the year, including other near-infrared wavelength probes, which can enable in vivo imaging of multiple targets simultaneously.

"The NanoSPARK technology platform is based on a series of breakthrough nanomaterials and chemistries, specifically designed to deliver unprecedented brightness, targeting and biocompatibility for in vivo imaging," commented Ralph Weissleder, MD, Ph.D., a VisEn founder and Director of the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"These, and VisEn’s future NanoSPARK products, will serve as important platforms from which to apply new imaging approaches in multiple models of disease, including in oncology, inflammation, cell tracking, and cardiovascular disease."

"This should truly have a significant impact on today’s research and drug development, and tomorrows personalized medicine," added Dr. Weissleder.