Commitment to innovation
Guerbet's Research and Development operations serve a dual purpose:
• design, develop and market imaging solutions that meet the needs of health professionals;
• contribute to improved patient management in three major fields: oncology, cardiovascular diseases and neuro-degenerative disorders.
Our future products will be targeting these disorders down at the molecular level. To do this, and invent a new generation of medical imaging techniques, our R&D teams have forged a policy of scientific, technological partnerships and excellence networks.
With an annual budget corresponding to 10% of the company's turnover and a dedicated headcount of 180, Guerbet's R&D is a vector for independence and technological innovation.
Guerbet's Research Center
Guerbet's researchers are always working to prepare the future. In 10 or 15 years from now, the imaging products they design and develop will be used in major disorders such as cancer and cardiovascular, inflammatory and neuro-degenerative diseases.
Discovering a new product is a long and complex process:
• Identifying a medical need.
• Finding a biological target for visualization.
• Designing a contrast agent that can visualize this target.
• Confirming agent performance in experimental imaging.
From skill centers to the network
The Research Center is built up around five skill centers: Chemistry, Biology, Bio-analysis, Experimental Imaging, Optimization.
Scientific knowledge and technical know-how is ever on the increase and we face the absolute need to move forward ever faster. To meet these challenges the Research Center functions in a network with support from partners throughout the world.
Today's population is experiencing an increase in the incidence of vascular wall disease and its consequences. With nearly 60 million patients worldwide, vascular wall disease is the leading killer in developed countries (about 30% of deaths).
With developments in medical imaging techniques (CT scan and MRI) used to investigate the heart, contrast agents are available to measure the magnitude of cardiovascular risk.
Tasks for medical imaging:
• Measure stenosis (narrowing of the arteries) by non-invasive methods.
• Help in the performance of angioplasty (dilation of stenotic arteries).
• Assess the condition of atheromatous plaque, the rupture of which causes infarction and stroke.
• Determine whether or not the heart is functioning correctly.
Expectations are high in the face of the public health challenge to predict a patient's risk of experiencing a cardiovascular accident.
Cancer is the third most frequent cause of death after cardiovascular disease and infection, and the second most frequent cause in developed countries. The incidence of cancer is rising rapidly with 10 million new cases diagnosed every year worldwide. The main reason for this is an ageing population.
Medical imaging is making progress thanks to advances in techniques and contrast agents and is used to diagnose cancers earlier and more reliably, meaning that patients can be provided with more effective care.
Guerbet's research goals: develop specific products able to characterize cancers and suspect masses. Our efforts are focused on developing contrast agents to locate primary tumors as early as possible and detect metastasis in other organs. This information helps physicians select the most suitable treatment for the patient (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, etc.)
Inflammatory and neuro-degenerative diseases
Inflammatory and neuro-degenerative diseases
Alzheimer’s disease is an inflammatory and neuro-degenerative disease of the brain, affecting about 25 million people worldwide, including 860 000 in France. In the coming years, the prevalence of this disease will increase.
To date, no reliable diagnostic method is available. To meet this major medical need, Guerbet is focussing great effort on translational research, aiming to bring patients the benefits of fundamental scientific research and apply new concepts of contrast media.
Guerbet Research teams are working on novel contrast media based on ultra-small super-paramagnetic iron oxide particles (USPIO) that could not only show the brain lesions of Alzheimer’s disease but could also be used to determine the stage of the disease and monitor its course.
Other inflammatory and neuro-degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis will also benefit from these studies.