by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | April 21, 2023
Economic development organization BRF’s Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy (CMIT) will be home to the most technologically advanced digital PET/CT scanner in Louisiana, leveraging its artificial intelligence to develop new radiopharmaceuticals for evaluating diseases such as cancer, dementia, and heart disease.
Funded by $2 million from the federal government, the new system extends the field of view in digital PET/CT, and will double scanning capacity, allowing CMIT to perform clinical and research activities simultaneously and fostering partnerships with higher education institutions and industry partners across the U.S.
“This new scanner will help expand CMIT’s research capabilities, and with its cutting-edge cyclotron and upgraded equipment, will allow for preclinical research projects, the development of new radiopharmaceuticals, and access to advanced clinical trials for local patients,” said BRF President and CEO Dr. John F. George Jr. in a statement.
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Opened in June 2022, the $19.5 million, 23,000 square-foot CMIT in Shreveport is one of a few privately operated facilities in the U.S. that offer similar capabilities, including clinical molecular imaging and therapy care for local patients so they do not have to travel outside the state.
It also has personnel and equipment for manufacturing new radiopharmaceuticals to supply hospitals and research centers, and provides other basic and preclinical research capabilities and services.
The facility replaced three older CMIT facilities, with its upgraded equipment and capabilities expected to promote economic development.
U.S. senator Dr. Bill Cassidy sponsored the request for the scanner’s funding.
BRF could not be reached for comment, or to confirm the specific scanner being purchased.