A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Schering (Berlin) reported that its French subsidiary, Schering SAS, would transfer the radiopharmaceutical business of CIS bio international to a consortium formed by the Belgian companies Ion Beam Applications and the Institut National des Radioelements. An agreement was signed by the parties on last week.

As part of the transaction, the consortium acquires Schering's current radiopharmaceutical business, while Schering will continue to focus on the diagnostic fields of MRI, computed tomography, and optical as well as molecular imaging.

Closing of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2006.

About 750 employees in different countries will continue employment under the ownership of the consortium.

This divestment is part of Schering's FOCUS initiative and will contribute to further improve the company's profitability, it said.

The transaction will have a negative one-time effect of about EUR 50 million on Schering's operating profit for fiscal 2006.

"We are highly committed to drive innovation in the field of diagnostic imaging," said Karin Dorrepaal, member of the executive board of Schering responsible for its Diagnostic Imaging business. "We realign our strategy in the area of diagnostic imaging to focus on innovative growth opportunities and to increase our operating performance in this area at the same time."

MedMira (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a developer of rapid diagnostic solutions, has closed on its acquisition of SensorChem International (Toronto), which initially was announced in mid-December.

Stephen Sham, chairman and CEO, said, "Our new division, Maple BioSciences, will focus on the commercialization of the breakthrough technologies developed by SensorChem, bringing to market a new product line and further strengthening MedMira's suite of diagnostic products."

MedMira has acquired all of the outstanding common shares of SensorChem and retired $1,374,129 in that company's debt and preferred share interests, for a total consideration of $2,063,729. MedMira has issued 2,948,184 common shares at a price of 70 cents a share, including 409,973 common shares to a director of MedMira.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, certain shareholders have agreed to trading restrictions where 2,373,042 of the shares issued cannot be traded for 180 days from the date of closing and 470,000 shares will be restricted from trading for up to three years from the date of closing.

MedMira said it is the leading global manufacturer of in vitro flow-through rapid diagnostic tests, providing results in just three minutes for the detection of antibodies in human serum, plasma or whole blood for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.

In other deal-related news:

• Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania), with its subsidiary PETNET Pharmaceuticals (Knoxville, Tennessee), reported acquiring New England PETNET Manufacturing & Distribution Center (Woburn, Massachusetts), enabling the provision of biomarkers for clinical and pre-clinical positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to the New England region through PETNET's SafetyNet international network of more than 45 manufacturing and distribution centers.

Siemens bills PETNET as the world's leading producer of PET biomarkers, with the largest U.S. network of cyclotron-equipped radiopharmacies. Molecular imaging biomarkers – small tracers that monitor biological processes – enable identification of the biological mechanisms of disease to determine personalized therapies.

"PETNET customers in the New England region will have access to an array of programs to support and enable the continuous development of their skills, productivity and technology," said Michael Reitermann, president, Molecular Imaging Division, Siemens Medical Solutions.

A unit of Siemens (Erlangen, Germany), Siemens Medical operates in more than 120 countries and reported sales of EUR 7.6 billion in 2005

• CytoCore (formerly Molecular Diagnostics; Chicago) said it has entered into an agreement to purchase a contract from a private individual giving the holder the right to receive a 10% undiluted interest in Diamics, a privately held company founded by Peter Gombrich, former CEO and chairman of Molecular Diagnostics. Diamics was founded while Gombrich was working at Molecular Diagnostics.

CytoCore is developing the InPath cancer-screening system for use in a laboratory or at the point of care to assist in the early detection of cervical, endometrial and other cancers.

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