Aerospace, defense, information, and services company Exelis (NYSE: XLS) and private medical imaging company NIRF Imaging have entered into a long-term exclusive agreement to deliver a non-invasive, non-radioactive, point-of-care medical imaging capability that addresses multiple unmet needs in the global medical imaging market.
The signing of this strategic partnership is the result of a multiyear relationship between the two companies. It began several years ago when Eva Sevick, principal inventor, founder, and chief technology officer for NIRF Imaging approached Exelis about utilizing Exelis' state-of-the-art image intensification technology as a key component in a proprietary medical imaging technology based on Near InfraRed Fluorescence (NIRF) and micro-doses of nonradioactive dye. The result, NIRF Technology, provides a first-of-its-kind, point-of-care diagnostic imaging tool for physicians and surgeons to use in support of improved patient care.
Exelis will provide NIRF Imaging with proprietary Pinnacle Gen III image intensifier (I2) tubes, which have historically been used primarily in military-grade night vision goggles, for use as a key component in NIRF Imaging's proprietary medical imaging technology. The ability to provide a "ready-now" technology like Pinnacle was a key factor for NIRF Imaging in selecting Exelis as a partner.
With NIRF Technology development completed and validated in multiple clinical studies, NIRF Imaging and Exelis will finalize both the commercial design and manufacturing process for NIRF Imaging’s initial product, the NIRF-LI [trade mark] system. NIRF-LI will provide physicians and surgeons with the only dynamic, non-invasive, point-of-care fluorescence imaging system available for imaging the body's lymphatic system, without the risks associated with radioactive imaging agents.
"This is another example of the Exelis commitment to expand our advanced technologies to global markets outside of the defense business," said Dave Smith, vice president and general manager of the Exelis Night Vision business. "NIRF Imaging represents an ideal expansion partner. Our image intensifier is a differentiating component in NIRF Technology and we look forward to deploying our commercialization design, manufacturing resources and expertise to help NIRF Imaging address significant unmet needs within the global medical imaging market."
Exelis employs about 17,000 people and generated 2013 sales of $4.8 billion.