Sunday, May 7, 2017

An Update on FF-OCT's Light CT from LLTECH

A few weeks ago, we showcased Paris based DAMAE MEDICAL, a two-years old startup preparing for the launch of a LC-OCT skin imaging system. I thought it would be fair to give an update on the progress of 7-year old LLTECH, also  a Paris based company offering imaging systems based on the very elegant FF-OCT optical method.

Lead by talented CEO Bertrand the Poly and world-class scientist and leader CSO Pr. Claude Boccara, the company has perfected the Light CT system over the past years into a "plug-and-play"imaging system that simplifies the sample/tissue handling and preparation process thanks to an innovative 'cassette' that holds the tissue ( for instance, directly in the surgical room) and plugs directly into the imaging system.

As a reminder, Full-field optical coherence tomography (FFOCT) offers a fast and non-destructive method of obtaining "en-face" images of biological tissues at high resolution (1μm in all 3 directions), approaching traditional histological sections.

The LLTECH team is gathering more and more clinical evidence as they build their value proposition as a stain-free digital pathology system.The product is available for sale as a research only use.

Most interestingly, a significant enhancement with "time-resolved" FF-OCT is in the works, allowing frequency-resolved imaging ! now... that is exciting as one of the weaknesses of all these OCT techniques is the lack of specificity for any given biological / cellular feature ( this is just like ultrasounds.... OCT "sees"structures"and optical-index discontinuities very well, but is poorly sensitive to chemistry".  The Method is called Dynamic FF-OCT or D-FFOCT and is another brain child of Pr. Boccara and PhD candidate Clement Apelian (read publications here). Below is an image of a cancerous skin tissue (mouse) where T-cells are tagged in red because of their specific frequency response. ( Tumor are in dark green and we can see all the T-cells around and in between the tumors, in movement in the extra-tumoral collagen matrix).

In the meantime, LLTECH is raising funds both in the US and Europe. LLTech is currently listed on PropelX a US funding platform linked to the MIT making the investment easy.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

French DAMAE MEDICAL prepares LC-OCT Skin System

Two-years old startup DAMAE MEDICAL (Paris,France) is already an award-winning young company. Under the leadership of a charismatic female CEO, Anais Barut (who proudly posts her pictures with former president Francois Hollande...), the company readies to launch an innovative LC-OCT hand-held skin inspection system, called OLIV.

To our desapointment, LC-OCT does not stand for Low Cost OCT! But we are really excited about the quality of the LC-OCT images produced as the optical method is strategically placed between scanning OCT and Confocal microscopy. Offering a X-Y, and Z resolution of ~1micron, even at 800 micron depth, the technique offers Z-slicing or virtual biopsie and can rebuild X-Y "en face" virtual biopsies.

Real-time imaging seems to be compatible with usual motion artifacts due to patient upper limb movement during exams, which is a good news.

Target markets include dermatology virtual-biopsy tissue/skin assesment for the triage (and hopefully soon diagnostic) of both melanoma and  carcinoma.The product is not approved by FDA , nor commercialized in the US, but the team is looking for clinical partners in the US to get on-board ( "Contact" on their webpage).

In the meantime, the usual "non-regulated" markets could be a nice way to start.We are thinking about Research only Use for Skin-condition drug development, cosmeceuticals (obviously) and Tissue / biopsy quality control.

So in short:very cool. Cannot wait to see the face of the current players when the product hits the US market. If anyone wnats to join me to invest in the company.... let me know.