UE LifeSciences Inc., a USA-India based med-tech startup today announced a pivotal distribution partnership with GE Healthcare to commercialize iBreastExam (iBE) in 25+ countries across South Asia, South-East Asia and Africa. The partnership brings together UE LifeSciences’ skills to design and develop mobile health innovations, and GE Healthcare’s sales, marketing and distribution expertise in these markets to enable early detection of breast cancer in the developing world.
For Mihir Shah, Founder and CEO, UE LifeSciences, it started out as a personal journey when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer few years ago. “Large scale access to early detection is the key to lowering the burden of breast cancer in the developing world. Affordable, accurate and easy to use primary-care tool like iBreastExam is one aspect of the solution. There is also a need for experienced teams across geographies that can seamlessly connect the care pathway - from primary care and women’s health to radiology, diagnostics and oncology. Our partnership with GE Healthcare will combine the power of innovation and scale to fight breast cancer in a whole new way”, he said.
Commenting on the partnership, Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Sustainable Healthcare Solutions said, “We are delighted to welcome UE Lifesciences as a partner in our efforts to improving healthcare outcomes for the world’s developing economies. GE Healthcare will begin selling iBE as part of its global portfolio of breast health and affordable care products, including mammography and ultrasound devices. The partnership provides a significant opportunity to commercially scale-up iBreastExam across India, South Asia, Africa and South-East Asia and improve breast cancer related outcomes in these regions.”
IBreastExam is an innovative, validated and affordable mobile breast health solution designed for use by primary health workers, obstetricians and gynecologists to identify breast abnormalities in healthy, asymptomatic women during a routine health checkup. Being a radiation-free and painless test further makes iBE suitable to women at primary care locations such as a doctor’s clinic, community health centers, health camps or a hospital’s out-patient department.
iBreastExam is currently commercially available in India, Myanmar and Botswana. Founded in 2012, UE LifeSciences has commercially designed and developed the iBreastExam device specifically for large scale use in the developing world. The sensor technology with multiple patents has passed stringent regulatory pathways, clinical validation and implementation studies. The project has been mentored and invested by Mrs. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon, Dr. Ranjan Pai of Manipal Education and Medical Group and Unitus Seed Fund, a social impact investor in affordable healthcare innovations.
“We need to work on down staging cancer, particularly breast cancer which so common in India. We should be moving from a stage of cancer cure to cancer care. The government should adopt this strategy to establish preventive healthcare”, said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
iBE is a “Made in India” device. It is USA FDA cleared and CE marked. With $1.3MM in grant funding from Pennsylvania Department of Health (CURE Grant), University City Science Center (QED & DHA), Drexel University (Coulter Program) and Unitus Seed Fund (StartHealth grant), iBE was developed by a team of 20+ scientists, engineers and clinicians.
Three published clinical validation studies show 83-86% sensitivity and 88-94% specificity for iBE to detect clinically relevant breast abnormalities. In partnership with 40+ private healthcare, government institutions, non-profits and CSR initiatives, UE LifeSciences has screened over 75,000 women to date and enabled 100+ breast cancers to get diagnosed.
“For any medtech startup, the critical point is the distribution. With this synergistic partnership with GE Healthcare, that problem is solved”, said Ranjan Pai.