SINGAPORE, April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Zecotek Photonics Inc. (TSX-V: ZMS; Frankfurt: W1I; OTCPK: ZMSPF), a developer of leading-edge photonics technologies for medical, industrial and scientific markets, is pleased to provide shareholders with a corporate update on its path to commercialize its leading-edge photonics technologies. The Company was founded with the vision to grow shareholder value by commercializing photonic technologies that offer both superior performance and economic advantages over competing technologies. Recent developments in the imaging industry have brought the Company closer to realizing this vision with respect to its patented LFs scintillation crystals, solid-state MAPD photo detectors and associated imaging technologies.
There are three main sectors within the imaging industry which have now accepted and endorsed the advantages of Lutetium Oxide based scintillation crystals and recognize them as the crystals of choice.
Clinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Medical Scanners
Historically, PET OEMs have purchased scintillation crystals known as BGO and GSO. The BGO and GSO crystals are used in conjunction with photo-multiplier tubes which are purchased separately. Readout electronics and data acquisition are either acquired from another third party or internally developed. These individual components are then integrated by the OEMs into a single medical scanner taking considerable time and effort. With the advancement of PET scanning diagnostics and its relevance to early treatment, this technology has become indispensable to hospitals and clinics worldwide, especially in the fast growing BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Today, new PET technology requires denser, faster and brighter crystals. OEMs are looking to Lutetium Oxide based scintillation crystals, compact solid-state photo detectors and faster electronic readout systems for the next generation of PET scanners. Time of Flight configurations will allow for higher resolution, and silicon based solid-state photo detectors present the possibility of integrating PET and MRI technologies into a single scanning device. At the same time, major OEMs have recently opted to move away from the purchasing of individual components (crystals, detectors, electronics), and purchase fully integrated detector modules made of an array of crystals, an array of photo-detectors, readout electronics and a data acquisition board.
Zecotek's strategic partner, Hamamatsu Photonics of Japan, has developed an integrated detector module and has demonstrated the module abilities to leading PET OEMs. The modules use Zecotek's patented LFS crystal arrays, which represent approximately half of the value of the module.
In parallel, Zecotek has integrated its own high performance detector module (IDM) using its own high performance imaging components; LFS crystal arrays, MAPD photo-detector arrays, and fast electronics. The Company is targeting BRIC healthcare markets and local OEMs, and expects to demonstrate its first commercial IDM in 2015, with technology transfer to manufacture and sales in 2016. The first module is being tested by PET developers. The manufacture and sales of the IDM is anticipated to be done through the Company's strategic partner Hamamatsu.
Pre-Clinical Pharmaceutical PET Scanners
Based on the same technology as clinical PET medical scanners, mini-PET scanning devices are used for the development of pharmaceutical drugs. Small PET scanners work well with existing phototubes but require new, faster and brighter crystals such as the Zecotek's LFS crystals. Zecotek has initiated the production and delivery of LFS crystal arrays specifically designed for mini-PET scanning devices to OEMs in South Korea and Russia.
High Energy Physics
After discovering the Higgs Bosom in 2012, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was shut down for major upgrades. In early April 2015 the particle accelerator was restarted and is now preparing to operate at full power.
The LHC is a large complex operation with many different experiments launching at different times and at various energy levels. With the main accelerator now operational other experiments can now begin preparations for corresponding experiments which will use specific detector components in conjunction with the required energy levels. The selection process for components, such as scintillation crystals and photo detectors, is equally complicated and scientists at CERN are evaluating competing products to be used within very specific parameters and energy levels.
The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment at CERN has successfully tested Zecotek's custom designed LFS-3 plates. The positive results are due to the LFS-3 plate's density, stopping power, fast decay time, very good energy resolution, and radiation hardness. With a break-through plate design, experiments using LFS-3 plates can benefit from reduced labour and re-calibration costs associated with single crystal forms and reduced maintenance costs due to fewer interruptions associated with the maintenance and refitting of damaged crystals.
The recent news at CERN has focused on the start-up of the LHC and the previous issues resolved by the lengthy upgrade. However, the news also spotlights the need for the LHC to use high performance detection components to achieve its future goals. This is significant positive news for Zecotek. Decisions, regarding which detector components will be used for various experiments, are still pending. No announcements have yet been made. However, Zecotek's components are being used by a number of experiments remain a prime candidates for the large scale, extreme energy experiments. The management and scientific teams at Zecotek will continue to work with CERN and build on a significant existing relationship until the selection process is complete.
Zecotek Photonics Inc (TSX-V: ZMS; Frankfurt: W1I) is a photonics technology company developing high-performance scintillation crystals, photo detectors, positron emission tomography scanning technologies, 3D auto-stereoscopic displays, and lasers for applications in medical, high-tech and industrial sectors. Founded in 2004, Zecotek operates three divisions: Imaging Systems, Optronics Systems and 3D Display Systems with labs located in Canada, Korea, Russia, Singapore and U.S.A. The management team is focused on building shareholder value by commercializing over 50 patented and patent pending novel photonic technologies directly and through strategic alliances and joint ventures with leading industry partners including Hamamatsu Photonics (Japan), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Switzerland), Beijing Opto-Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. (China), NuCare Medical Systems (South Korea), the University of Washington (United States), and National NanoFab Center (South Korea). For more information visit www.zecotek.com, follow @zecotek on Twitter and "like" us in Facebook at www.facebook.com/zecotek.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what may have been stated.
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SOURCE Zecotek Photonics Inc.