GE Healthcare Acquires U-Systems, Inc.; Expands GE Presence in Breast Cancer Detection
Breakthrough ultrasound technology complements GE’s portfolio of breast care innovations
Wauwatosa, WI and Sunnyvale, CA, – GE Healthcare, the healthcare division of General Electric (NYSE: GE), announced today the acquisition of U-Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of ultrasound products specifically designed for breast applications. With operations in Sunnyvale, CA and Phoenix, AZ, U-Systems, Inc. has developed the somo•v® Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS), the first and only ultrasound system on the market approved in the U.S. for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for asymptomatic women with greater than 50 percent dense breast tissue and no prior breast interventions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The combination of U-Systems, Inc. and GE Healthcare uniquely positions GE to offer U.S. healthcare providers and their patients the most comprehensive portfolio of breast care innovations on the market - from screening to diagnosis to monitoring,” said Tom Gentile, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems. “In addition to digital mammography and breast MR, GE can now offer breast screening ultrasound technology to our customers to help in early detection - which provides for more treatment options.”
According to a published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, women with dense tissue in 75% or more of the breast have a risk of breast cancer four to six times as great as the risk among women with little or no dense tissue. Since dense breast tissue decreases mammography’s effectiveness in detection, the somo•v® ABUS has proven to be a tremendous advancement in the visualization of cancer-hiding tissue in dense breasts.
“What 3D ultrasound will allow us to do is to help us use the information that we get from mammography and integrate that information together with the information we get from ultrasound to find more cancers,” said Dr. Rachel Brem, M.D, the Principal investigator of the SOMO-INSIGHT clinical study examining whether Full Field Digital Mammography along with the somo•v® could improve breast cancer detection when compared to mammography alone in women with dense breasts. “Mammography is an effective tool at finding breast cancer, but it doesn’t work equally well in everyone. Recently completed studies demonstrated with the addition of somo•v® ABUS we find about 30 percent more cancers in women who have a normal mammogram, normal physical examination and dense breasts. For the more than 40 percent of women who have dense breasts, this is a significant advancement in their breast healthcare.”
The somo•v® ABUS received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2012 for breast cancer screening in the United States, and has also been indicated for screening in Canada and the European Union.
“We are very excited to become part of GE Healthcare’s team,” said Ron Ho, U-Systems President and CEO. “The worldwide resources of GE Healthcare will allow us to expand and accelerate our efforts to commercialize the recently FDA-Approved somo•v® ABUS. With our combined resources and capabilities, we have the opportunity to make a significant impact on breast cancer detection and patient outcomes around the world. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to develop new technologies, products and applications for breast cancer screening. The entire U-Systems team looks forward to joining GE.”
As the leader in automated breast ultrasound, U-Systems is establishing the standard for breast ultrasound screening. For more information about U-Systems, please visit our website at: http://www.u-systems.com.
 Boyd, et al. New England Journal of Medicine 2007;356:227-36M
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
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