Mobile PET Systems and Bracco Diagnostics to form cardiac PET partnership

San Diego 11 October 2002Mobile PET Systems Inc., a provider of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging services to health care entities and Bracco Diagnostics Inc., the Princeton-based US operating company of the Bracco Group, specialised in global integrated solutions for diagnostic imaging, the supplier of CardioGen-82, a cardiac Rubidium 82 infusion system product, have agreed to establish a strategic partnership pilot programme designed to jointly provide cardiac PET products and services to health care providers.

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Under this pilot programme, Bracco Diagnostics Inc. and Mobile PET Systems Inc., have decided to combine their marketing and sales resources to offer cardiovascular PET services to cardiology groups in the United States.

Carlo Medici, President and CEO of Bracco Diagnostics Inc., shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration: "Bracco is very excited about this co-marketing programme with Mobile PET Systems Inc. The combination of our proprietary PET myocardial perfusion agent, CardioGen-82, and Mobile PET Systems Inc.'s quality imaging service will bring this state-of-the-art technology to community cardiologists and their patients who previously did not have access to the PET imaging technology. This will enable more cardiologists to diagnose coronary artery disease with greater accuracy than other non-invasive imaging procedures and improve the overall level of patient care."

"More than 1,5 million Americans have acute myocardial infarctions each year", commented Paul J. Crowe, President and CEO of Mobile PET Systems. "Up to 13 percent of middle-aged men in the United States have coronary arteriosclerosis, most of it clinically silent. Over 600.000 deaths are attributed to or are the result of myocardial infarctions. The major question for cardiovascular medicine is how to detect and identify silent coronary artery disease (CAD) in specific individuals and how to define its severity in either the symptomatic or asymptomatic patient. We believe that Rb-82 PET, the gold standard in cardiac imaging, is the answer."

Cardiac PET, utilising the CardioGen-82 Rb-82 radio-pharmaceutical in Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI), was first reimbursable by Medicare in 1995. Requiring no on-line cyclotron, the Rb-82 infusion system is readily available on a 24 hour/7 day basis to cardiologists and their patients. A cardiac PET rest/stress study by rubidium 82 provides not only myocardial perfusion results, but also myocardial viability in less than 45 minutes. Conventional nuclear medicine SPECT cameras would take 4-5 hours to perform this same procedure.

Mr. Crowe added: "Bracco Diagnostics has already identified multiple stationary and mobile cardiac PET opportunities. We believe these opportunities, will best be served by the synergy and blend of our respective organisation's products and services."

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a medical imaging procedure that displays metabolic and functional characteristics of disease. Other conventional imaging procedures such as X-Ray, Computerized Axial Tomography (CT), Diagnostic Ultrasound, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems provide physicians with anatomical information. Because diseases like cancer, cardiac and neurological disorders often exhibit altered metabolism before the anatomy is changed, PET helps physicians effectively detect and stage these problems at their earliest phases. That information helps define and guide appropriate treatment options, which can eliminate redundant testing, hospitalisation, or non-beneficial therapies.

Bracco Diagnostics Inc. is a member of the Bracco Group, a highly innovative health care group, specialised in global integrated solutions for diagnostic imaging with 70 years of experience worldwide. Headquartered in Milan, Italy, the Bracco Group consists of six fully owned operations and two joint ventures in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Bracco Diagnostics, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is responsible for developing new clinical agents, filing them with regulatory agencies, and selling and marketing all Bracco products in the United States.

Mobile PET Systems Inc. is a service provider of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging services in the United States. The medical service business enables hospitals and other health care professionals the ability to access and provide this advanced diagnostic imaging patient service efficiently. Under a service agreement, Mobile PET provides state-of-the-art PET imaging systems, which are integrated into mobile coaches or stationary PET centres.

The company provides licensed technical personnel who operate the equipment and perform the PET imaging procedure, daily operations and logistical management. The company addresses questions about the various cancers and how molecular imaging can assist and benefit physicians and their patients.


Leslie Versweyveld

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