20 YEARS TO THE DAY FROM THE WORLD'S FIRST MR SCAN FONAR RECEIVES $128.7 MILLION FOR ITS MR PATENTS
Melville, NY, July 8, 1997 – FONAR Corporation (NASDAQ;FONR), holder of the world's first magnetic resonance (MR) patent and an array of other significant MR patents has announced that it will kick off a year-long celebration commemorating the 20th anniversary of the world's first whole-body MR scan, which began late on July 2, 1977 and was completed at 4:35 A.M. on July 3, 1977.
Dr. Raymond Damadian, chairman and founder of FONAR, together with his two post-graduate assistants, began construction of the first human-sized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scanner, today known as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, in January of 1976 at their research lab in SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York. This first scanner, named ‘Indomitable', is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution.
MR scanning was proposed for the first time in the paper "Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance" (Science, March 19, 1971). That paper reported that there are dramatic differences in the characteristic NMR parameters known as T1 and T2 between healthy and cancerous tissues as well as between one type of healthy tissue and another. It is precisely these differences that provide the extraordinary anatomic contrast and detail of today's MRI images.
In 1974, U.S. Patent #3,789,832, “Apparatus and Method for Detecting Cancer in Tissue,” was granted. It was the world's first description of an apparatus and method for scanning the human body by magnetic resonance. It introduced the T1 and T2 tissue relaxation differences reported in Science as the foundation of the scanning process, the basis for all MRI imaging performed today. This was one of two patents the courts recently determined GE had infringed, resulting in GE's $128.7 million payment to FONAR last week.
A Company spokesman said, “It is a remarkable coincidence that we finally reaped some of the profits of the multi-billion dollar industry that we created, precisely 20 years to the day from the time of the world's first successful human MR scan.”
Founded in 1978, FONAR gave birth to the MRI industry with the introduction of the world's first commercial MR scanner in 1980. Today, with approximately 4,000 scanners installed in the U.S. and thousands more worldwide, MRI has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
FONAR will commemorate this 20th anniversary by reporting on its new technological developments throughout the year. The Company plans to intensify its research and development in many areas of MRI, including non-invasive MRI-guided surgery, MRI mammography and development of the Stand-Up™ MRI, which allows for scanning in the full weight-bearing position.
This release may include forward-looking statements from the company that may or may not materialize. Additional information on factors that could potentially affect the company's financial results may be found in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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