It might look like something out of a sci-fi movie, but be assured this is non-fiction: medical devices company Compumedics (ASX:CMP) has installed what it says is the first magnetoencephalography machine in almost 20 years.

Magnetoencephalography, shortened to MEG, is brain-scanning done by recording magnetic fields produced by electrical currents occurring naturally in the brain, using very sensitive magnetometers.

  • Scroll down for the ASX’s other health and biotech movements today.

And Compumedics’ product, which it is calling Neuroscan Orion LifeSpan, is now in the initial stages of commissioning at renowned neuroscience centre Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona in the US.

Compumedics, which is also in the process of submitting an application the US Food and Drug Administration to allow the device to be used clinically, says it is the first “completely new design of a commercial MEG instrument to be delivered and installed” in almost 20 years.

The device claims advanced Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) detectors for unparalleled sensitivity to brain signals, reduced operating costs and a low-noise, high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring system.

Dr Michael Stein, MEG medical director at BNI, hoped FDA approval would come post-haste.

“We are extraordinarily pleased with the Orion LifeSpan MEG and the much-needed enhanced brain imaging capability it will allow BNI to offer our patients. We are eager to begin MEG measurements for our clinical epilepsy program, which will bring improved surgical outcomes from this debilitating disorder,” he said.

“On the research side, the Orion will offer greater insights into the fundamental workings of both healthy and pathological brain function.”

Dr David Burton said it opened the company up to a “multi-billion dollar” brain imaging market.

“We can think of no better institution to take advantage of this new MEG technology and fully showcase the improved ability to detect functional brain signals. We look forward to many years of fruitful collaboration with their distinguished professionals and further advancements in the field of magnetoencephalography.

“The BNI Orion LifeSpan MEG installation and first stage of commissioning marks a unique inflection point in Compumedics’ evolution to date, paving the way for a major new global market for the Company. Ultimately this new generation brain function scanner is uniquely positioned to transform brain-health and improve people’s lives, worldwide.”


In other ASX health, biotech, food and agriculture news today

BTC Health (ASX:BTC) completes capital raise. The healthcare investor raised $8 million — including $2 million from Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) — to fund the acquisition of the Hospital Infusion Business from Admedus (ASX: AHZ). BTC shares rose 35 per cent to 11.5c.
Struggling Suda Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD) gets a hell of a recruit. The company, whose shares have been trading between 0.3c and 0.6c so far this year, has picked up biotech entrepreneur Paul Hopper as its new chairman. Hopper is well known for being the boss of Viralytics, which he sold for half a billion dollars last year.
Opthea (ASX:OPT) closing in on end of clinical trials. The final patient in the company’s Phase IIb trial for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has completed their last clinical visit. This means that it’s time to start analysing the data, with Opthea chief Dr Megan Baldwin saying initial readouts would arrive “in the coming months”.