General Electric Healthcare
GE Healthcare, the health business of General Electric, plans to dedicate US$1 billion of its total R&D budget over the next five years to expand its advanced cancer diagnostic and molecular imaging capabilities, as well as its world-class technologies for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and for cancer research.
The recently announced investment commitment reflects the needs of the healthcare sector across the world, and in the Middle East, which today faces the twin challenges of rising healthcare bills and the growing incidence of lifestyle diseases.
According to recent reports#, the prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular ailments and certain forms of cancer are increasing in the Middle East and North Africa region, while healthcare expenditure as a percent of the GDP is relatively low, underlining the need for greater private sector collaboration in driving healthcare research.
The US$1 billion global investment crosses all lines of GE Healthcare’s global business and is an example of the company’s commitment to fighting cancer. The investment will enable the company to bring innovative tools to market, unleashing technologies that can improve the accuracy of diagnosis to potentially enable more effective treatment decisions and empower doctors and patients with better information.
According to World Health Organization data, cancer rates could increase globally by 50 percent, leading to 15 million new cases in 2020. From a clinical standpoint, the rapid increase in targeted and patient-specific cancer therapies is driving demand for molecular diagnostics.
Aziz Koleilat, General Manager at GE Healthcare for the Middle East region, said: “Extraordinary things can happen when you apply imagination to solve big problems. Such is the case with groundbreaking initiatives such as healthymagination – GE’s commitment to help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. We remain committed to continuing to invest in invention with a focus on better patient outcomes.”
Koleilat added: “The only way we can help clinicians beat cancer is to give them the tools to find it earlier, stage it better, and quantitatively measure response to therapy. The integration of GE Healthcare’s expertise in imaging, analytics, diagnostics, cellular analysis, and healthcare IT will help create technologies and solutions that can be used across the region – which ultimately benefits the patient.”
GE Healthcare already offers a wide portfolio for oncology and a strategy that combines cellular research, medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and information technology. These innovative technologies help researchers increase their understanding of the causes and progression of cancer and help physicians make more personalized cancer treatment and management decisions, while improving clinical outcomes and accelerating the delivery of care.
GE Healthcare is seen as a leader in diagnostic imaging for the detection of cancer and as a leading provider of technologies for cancer research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. In recent years, the company has significantly expanded its presence in the oncology arena through strategic acquisitions, including Amersham plc. (2004), Biacore International AB (2006), Wave Biotech LLC (2007), MicroCal LLC (2008), Clarient (2010) and Applied Precision (2011) and a joint venture Omnyx (2009).
A recognized pioneer of oncology invention for over 50 years, GE Healthcare continues to research and develop industry-defining technologies. This work is happening at a fast pace across the company, in close collaboration with GE Global Research and through a number of strategic partnerships and alliances.
GE Healthcare has a long history of public and private sector partnerships in the Middle East region, where it supports public and private healthcare providers with advanced technologies and solutions to address the spectrum of medical needs.