Painful liver biopsies - in which a long hollow needle is pressed into the abdomen to remove tissue samples to diagnose infectious disease - can be eliminated by a new "breakthrough" Israeli technology whose rights were acquired by Hadasit, the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Organization. A patient merely has to breathe into an instrument to determine whether he has hepatitis C or other infectious liver diseases, Hadassah announced on Monday, with the results available in 40 minutes. The diagnostic device was developed by Oridion Systems Ltd., which has, together with Dr. Uri Geiger, set up a daughter company called Breath ID. This subsidiary will continue developing the instrument for the diagnosis of infectious liver diseases, enabling physicians throughout the world to enlarge the scope of diagnosing infectious liver diseases. Using the new methodology, 150 hepatitis C patients have so far been checked at Hadassah and another 300 outside of Israel. Leaders of the American Liver Society supported Hadasit's purchase and the creation of the new company and are participating as members of the Breath ID scientific advisory board. "I consider Hadasit's entry into technological and financial activities an integral part of our commitment to improving medicine," said Hadasit CEO Dr. Rafi Hofstein. "The establishment of Breath ID will allow us to advance the progress of diagnosing infectious liver diseases and may even reveal new ways of treating these diseases." "Hadasit's involvement marks another step in the natural continuum of its growth so far, building on the establishment of Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd., whose stock is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the construction of a biotech park on the Jerusalem Ein Kerem campus and the creation of numerous start-up companies in the biomedical and bioengineering fields."