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VisionGate Adds 3 Prominent Directors

VisionGate Inc., an in vitro diagnostics company that has developed the patented Cell-CT®, a 3D cell imaging platform being utilized in early disease detection, recently added three new esteemed business leaders to its Board of Directors. The directors come on board at a pivotal time for VisionGate, as its revolutionary, non-invasive test for the early detection of lung cancer – LuCED® – is poised to enter the market.

Robert A. Heft, PhD is chief executive officer of ILIT BioVentures, an early stage company developing gene therapy for rare metabolic disorders. Dr. Heft is former president and CEO of Enobia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 2012, he sold Enobia to Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1.1 Billion, the largest-ever sale of a private, pre-commercial biopharmaceutical company. Prior to Enobia, Dr. Heft held several senior positions with BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Continental Pharma Cryosan, Inc. and IBEX Technologies, which he founded. Dr. Heft received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from McGill University and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Cornell University before obtaining his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in genetic engineering/radiological sciences. Dr. Heft currently is a member of the Board of Directors of several companies developing therapeutics for Orphan disorders.

Thomas J. Miller is the founder of GreyBird Ventures, an umbrella company for consulting, investment and management opportunities. Prior to founding GreyBird Ventures, Mr. Miller served in numerous executive roles, most recently as CEO of the Customer Solutions Division at Siemens Healthcare where he was responsible for all downstream activities regarding healthcare, IT and new services, managing 26,000 employees in more 130 countries. Mr. Miller has been featured in Diagnostic Imaging magazine in its cover story on “The 20 Most Influential People in Diagnostic Radiology”. After receiving a degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Miller earned a master’s degree in medical physics from the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology joint program. During his academic career, he worked at Los Alamos, the Swiss Institute for Nuclear Research (now the Paul Scherer Institute), Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Massachusetts General Hospital as a research associate in radiation biophysics.

Gene Pawlick, MD, was recently the medical director at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Regional Reference Laboratories in Berkeley and Richmond, California. These laboratories comprise the largest reference clinical laboratory organization in the Kaiser Permanente system, performing more than 70 percent of all laboratory testing at Kaiser Permanente-Northern California. While there, he pioneered clinical studies in the area of cancer screening and diagnosis and has participated in related hearings at the FDA as a field expert. Dr. Pawlick earned his medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and completed his residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco.

Dr. Heft, Mr. Miller and Dr. Pawlick join three existing VisionGate board members. Together, they will provide timely strategic counsel to VisionGate’s management and help guide the overall direction of the company.

VisionGate, 3D Cellular Imaging - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

VisionGate Uses 3D Imaging To Detect Lung Cancer

In September 2010, the City of Phoenix, in partnership with VisionGate, opened the world’s first biomedical 3D cellular imaging lab.

The Cell-CT research lab is located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix.

A year later, VisionGate is well on its way to developing a revolutionary non-invasive test for the early detection of lung cancer. This summer, company representatives presented groundbreaking data at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, Netherlands.VisionGate 3D Imaging

The data showed how adjunctive use of its LuCED™ test can improve the utility of low dose X-ray computed tomography (CT) screening for the early detection of lung cancer in high-risk individuals. LuCED uses VisionGate’s revolutionary automated 3D cell imaging platform, the Cell-CT™, which generates high-resolution 3D biosignatures from intact cells using a sputum sample.

Dr. Claudia Henschke, a lung cancer researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University who is also a practicing physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, serves as a leader of the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program. She is co-author of a pioneering study of the benefits of CT scans for lung cancer.

“Today, almost all patients diagnosed with lung cancer in the U.S. die. The NLST study results released last November confirmed our initial findings showing that CT scans can find lung cancers in their earliest stage, when up to 92 percent can be cured,” Henschke said.

The proposed first use of LuCED as an adjunct to CT screening reflects the results of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) landmark National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) of more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, which showed that low-dose helical CT screening reduced lung cancer deaths by 20 percent, compared with standard chest X-rays. These dramatic results were first presented last November and were expanded in an online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“The dramatic results of the NLST study provide us with a valuable initial indication for our LuCED test,” said Scarlett Spring, president of VisionGate. “By combining the high accuracy and cost effectiveness of our non-invasive LuCED diagnostic with the proven ability of CT screening to reduce lung cancer deaths, we hope to make mass screening feasible and affordable.”

For more information about VisionGate and its 3D imaging visit www.2011worldlungcancer.org or www.visiongate3D.com.


 Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011