InHealth Group and CTI partner in United Kingdom to advance availability of PET and molecular imaging

Knoxville 10 March 2003InHealth Group and CTI Molecular Imaging Inc. will partner to advance the availability of positron emission tomography (PET) and molecular imaging in order to improve disease diagnosis and therapy management for patients in the United Kingdom. PET is a technology that has significant advantages in improving patient care in oncology, neurology, and cardiology. The business alliance between InHealth and CTI will include the initial development of up to seven new PET and PET/CT centres throughout the United Kingdom and the management of existing centres.

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These centres will provide state-of-the-art scanning facilities using PET and PET/CT and will manufacture all PET tracers currently in use for both research & development purposes and clinical use, including the most common tracer FDG. The centres will be established by working in close collaboration with the United Kingdom's major National Health Service (NHS) trusts and leading academic institutions and will allow FDG to be accessible to most acute hospitals in the United Kingdom. Discussions are already at an advanced stage with most sites and detailed announcements will follow once final agreement has been reached.

In addition to these centres, there will be a number of scanning centres that will offer state-of-the-art PET and PET/CT scanning utilising PET tracers produced from a United Kingdom wide network of production facilities, and there will be a United Kingdom wide mobile scanning service. Both the mobile service and the first scanning centre are already operational and InHealth has already carried out over 2000 PET scans.

InHealth will utilise CTI's cyclotron & chemistry technology and expertise in the development of new PET tracer production, pharmacy, and distribution facilities. Additionally, the alliance will fully utilise the experience of CTI's wholly owned subsidiary PETNET, the only operator in the United Kingdom with full production facilities.

PETNET's UK facility has met exacting quality standards set by the UK Medicines Control Agency, and they already supply FDG to the British health sector. Their knowledge and expertise in this area will be a key element of the alliance. InHealth and CTI, together with PETNET, will pursue the acquisition of a UK wide marketing license to assure patients of the highest quality PET tracers.

Additionally, InHealth and CTI, through the CTI PET Systems subsidiary, will develop a research centre in the United Kingdom in collaboration with leading academic and research sites for both new PET tracer evaluation and new PET and PET/CT scanner development.

Working together, the companies will commit significant resources that will ensure a faster and more wide reaching delivery of the intended network as well as offering NHS trusts an opportunity to offer their patients wide access to PET scanning without major capital outlay.

Alan Gibson, CEO, InHealth Group stated: "We feel the time is right to offer the NHS the opportunity to gain access to commercially licensed PET tracers in the United Kingdom. InHealth Group is totally committed to the provision of PET in the United Kingdom and through partnership with the NHS are confident of creating a UK wide network that will share and develop clinical expertise and research in this rapidly developing technology."

Terry Douglass, Chairman of CTI, commented about the partnership: "CTI is excited to partner with InHealth in the development of new PET and molecular imaging services in the United Kingdom. We believe that our existing strengths and capabilities both in the UK and globally are complementary, and by combining those strengths in one coordinated initiative will bring immediate value to the NHS and ultimately improve patient care in the United Kingdom."

InHealth Group is a British provider of diagnostic and imaging services to the NHS and currently offers a range of scanning facilities including MRI, CT, Cardiac Catheterisation and is the only provider of PET scanning outside the NHS. The company operates in excess of 24 static sites covering all these modalities as well as a wide range of mobile services including the only operational mobile PET service in the United Kingdom.

CTI Molecular Imaging Inc. is a supplier of products and services for positron emission tomography (PET), a diagnostic imaging technology used in the detection and treatment of cancer, neurological disorders and cardiac disease. PET images the biology of diseases at the molecular level often before anatomic changes are visible or in some cases before symptoms appear.

Diseases are biological processes and it is these processes that PET examines. PET/CT is a new imaging technology that combines the biological examination of patients by PET with the CT images of the body's structural detail. PET/CT technology improves the treatment management of patients by providing surgeons, radiation therapists and other clinicians precise anatomical landmarks associated with the disease condition as determined by PET.

PET's whole-body imaging capability helps clinicians improve their ability to determine the location, extent and stage of cancer, neurological disorders and cardiac disease. By improving diagnosis, PET scans aid clinicians in selecting better courses of treatment, as well as assessing whether treatment is effective or should be changed.

Recent published clinical trials have shown that in a wide array of cancers, the use of PET has caused the treatment to be changed for 15 to 50 percent of patients, depending on the specific clinical question. In addition, PET and PET/CT provide both the patient and their clinician with a degree of certainty that is often unavailable through other imaging methods.


Leslie Versweyveld

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