GE Healthcare partners with UE Lifesciences to scale early detection of breast cancer in 25+ countries

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Unitus Ventures invested in UE LifeSciences in May 2015.

  • Partnership targets over 500 million women in developing countries who can benefit from iBreastExam [1]
  • iBreastExam is a low-cost, battery powered, handheld medical device to screen for breast health
  • As a global health startup, UE LifeSciences to partner with GE Healthcare’s accelerator eight

13 November 2017, Bangalore: UE LifeSciences Inc., a USA-India based med-tech startup today announced a pivotal distribution partnership with GE Healthcare to commercialize iBreastExam (iBE) in 25+ countries across South-Asia, South-East Asia and Africa. The partnership brings together UE LifeSciences’ skills to design and develop mobile health innovations, and GE Healthcare’s sales, marketing and distribution expertise in these markets to drive early detection of breast cancer in the developing world.

Need for Early Detection of Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women worldwide with 1.67 million new cases diagnosed annually [2] (150,000 in India [3]).
  • A vast majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage in developing countries. In India, more than 60% of all Breast Cancer cases are detected at an advanced stage [3]
  • 5-year survival rate for breast cancer victims in developing countries is very poor (52% in India, 49% in Malaysia, 38% Algeria) compared to those in the developed regions (90% in USA) [4].

“Large scale access to early detection is the key to lowering the burden of breast cancer in the developing world”, says Mihir Shah, Founder and CEO, UE LifeSciences.

“Affordable, accurate and easy to use primary-care tool like iBreastExam is one aspect of the solution. There is also a need for experienced teams across geographies that can seamlessly connect the care pathway – from primary care and women’s health to radiology, diagnostics and oncology.

Our partnership with GE Healthcare will combine the power of innovation and scale to fight breast cancer in a whole new way.”

Commenting on the partnership, Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Sustainable Healthcare Solutions said, “We are delighted to welcome UE Lifesciences as partner in our efforts to improving healthcare outcomes for the world’s developing economies. GE Healthcare will begin selling iBE as part of its global portfolio of breast health and affordable care products, including mammography and ultrasound devices. The partnership provides a significant opportunity to commercially scale-up iBreastExam across India, South-Asia, Africa and South-East Asia and improve breast cancer related outcomes in these regions.” 

Impact Innovation for Early Detection

IBreastExam is an innovative, validated and affordable mobile breast health solution designed for use by primary health workers and women’s health providers to identify breast abnormalities in healthy, asymptomatic women during a routine health checkup. Being a radiation-free and painless test further makes iBE suitable to women at primary care locations such as a doctor’s clinic, community health centers, health camps or a hospital’s out-patient department.

iBreastExam is currently commercially available in India, Myanmar and Botswana. Founded in 2012, UE LifeSciences has commercially designed and developed the iBreastExam device specifically for large scale use in the developing world. The sensor technology with multiple patents has passed stringent regulatory pathways, clinical validation and implementation studies. The project has been mentored and invested by Mrs. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon, Dr. Ranjan Pai of Manipal Education and Medical Group and Unitus Ventures, a social impact investor in affordable healthcare innovations.

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About GE Healthcare

Harnessing data and analytics across hardware, software and biotech, GE Healthcare is the $18 billion healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE). As a leading provider of medical imaging equipment, with a track record of more than 100 years in the industry and more than 50,000 employees across 100 countries, we transform healthcare by delivering better outcomes for providers and patients.

About UE LifeSciences

With “Impact Innovation” as the guiding mission, UE LifeSciences (UELS) is a fast growing, medical device company commercializing innovative science into clinically effective and affordable mHealth cancer detection tools for parts of the world where burden of cancer is dramatically rising and where access to early detection remains significantly limited. Mentored by stalwarts such as Professor R. A. Mashelkar, Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Dr. Ranjan Pai, UELS has commercialized 2 US FDA cleared and CE marked products for breast cancer early detection, raised $4.2M in equity capital, $1.3M in grant capital, including the prestigious CURE Grant award from Pennsylvania Dept. of Health. UELS has offices in 3 countries with a team of 60+.

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[1] iBE is a “Made in India” device. It is USA FDA cleared and CE marked.

[2] With $1.3MM in grant funding from Pennsylvania Department of Health (CURE Grant), University City Science Center (QED & DHA), Drexel University (Coulter Program) and Unitus Ventures (StartHealth grant), iBE was developed by a team of 20+ scientists, engineers and clinicians.

[3] Three published clinical validation studies show 83-86% sensitivity and 88-94% specificity for iBE to detect clinically relevant breast abnormalities.

[4] In partnership with 40+ private healthcare, government institutions, non-profits and CSR initiatives, UE LifeSciences has screened over 75,000 women to date and enabled 100+ breast cancers to get diagnosed.

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