OHSU, GE Healthcare extend multi-year collaboration to advance innovation, outcomes

The collaboration has led to significant research funding, in-kind contributions, jointly submitted grant funding, multiple peer-reviewed journal articles.

OHSU and GE Healthcare have renewed their Comprehensive Research Agreement for an additional five years, which means the organizations will continue to combine their expertise to advance research, accelerate delivery of quality care, and improve patient outcomes.

An OHSU-GE Healthcare-funded study led by Jonathan Lindner, M.D., was named among the top 10 most talked about articles from 2021 by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Since 2015, OHSU and GE Healthcare joint research activities have sparked several important innovations, reported in high-profile publications, that bring clinical benefits and provide new opportunities for research collaborations. These activities demonstrate how the collaboration is bridging the knowledge gaps of many clinical challenges with an unmet need.

Initially, the two organizations will focus on advancing PET/MR imaging, oncology, digital health and integrated virtual care and then look to expand into new areas of research to deepen the collaboration.

Point-of-care ultrasound and PET/MRI

Listen to commentary by Valentin Fuster, editor-in-chief of the JACC, on the Lindner team’s study on ischemic memory imaging and the years of research behind the new breakthroughs.

OHSU and GE Healthcare have worked closely together to expand applications for new technologies such as point-of-care ultrasound. Most recently, a collaborative project headed by Jonathan Lindner, M.D., led to a publication in the Nov. 8, 2021, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reporting the first in-human echocardiographic molecular imaging study. This study also represents the clinical translation of decades of work developing an ultrasound-based agent (SonazoidTM) that allows for point-of-care evaluation of myocardial ischemia and for the assessment of peripheral artery disease. Ongoing partnerships that pair OHSU’s clinical strength and GE’s data science and AI programs are creating new ways to predict cardiac arrhythmias.

Independent of the collaboration, OHSU purchased and became the first hospital in the Pacific Northwest equipped with a PET/MRI scanner. This new state-of-the-art technology will enhance OHSU’s missions of research health care and education, by being available for the collaboration with GE Healthcare and by combining the clinical benefits provided by two powerful diagnostic imaging modalities.

“The PET/MRI, enhanced by our collaborationwith GE Healthcare, offers exciting new capabilities that OHSU investigators will use to expand their research questions, accelerate discovery, and ultimately improve health care,” said Bill Rooney, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Advanced Imaging Research Center. Ongoing collaboration discussions with GE Healthcare in neurological and cardiac conditions, prostate cancer, and other malignancies, will bring in opportunities for advancing new diagnostic and therapeutic tools that promote better patient outcomes.

Mission-driven with mutual commitment

The collaboration builds on mutual interest and understanding to accelerate the mission of exploring new research frontiers and delivering excellence in health care. To ensure alignment of the common goals, the Comprehensive Research Agreement is governed by a joint steering committee comprising representatives from both organizations, including Lindner, Bill Rooney, Ph.D., and OHSU Collaborations & Entrepreneurship, from OHSU, and research leadership from GE Healthcare.

The steering committee meets quarterly to review strategic alignment and help establish the broader collaboration through providing guidance on the curation of high-quality joint projects, identifying and prioritizing resources from both sides, and strategic planning of the direction of the collaboration. This joint effort is facilitated by both OHSU Collaborations & Entrepreneurship and GE Healthcare’s Medical & Scientific Affairs team.

Driven by common goals and missions, and with mutual commitment, this collaboration is set out to lead health care innovation for years to come.

Advancing research and clinical solutions

In addition, the relationship has brought mentorship and support to OHSU entrepreneurial programs, such as OCTRI’s Biomedical Innovation Program and OHSU Commercialization Conferences.

The Biomedical Innovation Program has provided crucial proof of concept funding for innovative projects addressing unmet clinical needs. A sampling of projects funded in the device and diagnostic track have focused on childbirth outcomes, vascular disease and improved diagnosis of headaches using advanced MRI techniques. Projects funded in the drug discovery track include Alzheimer’s disease therapies, treatments for progressive multiple sclerosis and obesity prevention.

The range of research and innovative clinical solutions generated by this collaboration supports the health and well-being of people in Oregon and beyond now, and in preparation for, an ever-more dynamic health care system.

For more information about this partnership, please contact Emma He at heti@ohsu.edu.

Image at top: Preparation of microbubble contrast agent used in ultrasound, shown by Lindner’s lab to deliver a more powerful vibration than ultrasound alone. (OHSU/Amanda Lucier)