422 million people have diabetes worldwide.
That number is expected to double by 2025.
All are potentially at risk of blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of adult blindness.
Fluorescein Angiography (FA) is the ubiquitous diagnostic technique for diabetic retinopathy, but uncertainty of diagnosis is common in early cases. Uncertainty of treatment efficacy adds to patient risks Treatment failure is devastating "Blindness can be prevented if these leaky vessels are identified early and treated effectively." Source: nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy During the last decade there has emerging consensus on the key role of leaky brain vessels in the pathogenesis of wide range of brain disorders. Similarly, it is well known that leaky blood vessels in the retina risk the integrity and functionality of this delicate neuronal tissue. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an emergent, common and costly public health problem. In North America (USA and Canada), over 9.0% of the population are estimated to have diabetes (3.4 million Canadians), expecting this number to grow to 5 million (12.1%) by 2025. Most patients with DM will suffer from vascular complications at some point during their life, including leaky vessels as early and key pathogenic event. Vascular complications commonly progress to end organ failure such as loss of vision (retinopathy), kidney failure (nephropathy), weakness and pain (neuropathy) as well as stroke, dementia and epilepsy as major brain complications. The majority of DM patients will develop gradual loss of vision over the course of the disease.
The current diagnostic procedure includes routine ophthalmological evaluations and digital photography of the retina after injection of fluorescent tracer for direct assessment of vessels health (AKA fluorescein angiography, FA).
The Opportunity Emagix’s technology employs mathematical modeling, image processing algorithms and computational power to discover leaky blood vessels. For the retina - the algorithm detects the vessels supplying it, quantifies and generates permeability and perfusion maps to allow the identification of subtle and otherwise undetectable microvascular leakage. The Company’s patented technology merges all the imaging information to a one stand-alone interface that reveals the dynamics hidden in the stream of imaging data and allows for a rapid identification of leakage and reduced blood flow in an accurate, objective and quantitative manner. In the Company’s first published study (Serlin et al. PLoSONE, 2013), FA images were analyzed from diabetic patients and healthy controls. It was demonstrated that generation of permeability maps facilitates the detection of subtle pathologies and improves identification of affected regions within the retina. It was further showed that the created permeability maps improve the agreement between physicians (retinal experts). Emagix expects that this initial success will be translated into a common modality that provides accurate diagnosis and offers early treatment with sight saving interventions.