Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp. announced Monday that the FDAhas approved the company's new drug application to marketImagent GI, the first oral contrast agent for use with magneticresonance imaging to be made available in the U.S.

Imagent GI is a liquid perfluorochemical known as perflubron,a new molecular entity. The product contains no hydrogen, so itproduces a dark image on magnetic resonance (MR) scanningmodes. When present in the gastrointestinal tract, Imagent GIcan enhance the delineation of the bowel to distinguish it fromadjacent organs and areas of suspected pathology.

According to Duane Roth, chairman and chief executive officerof Alliance (NASDAQ:ALLP) of San Diego, Imagent has apotential U.S. market of about $35 million to $50 million. It willbe manufactured at the company's Otisville, N.Y., facility andwill be distributed by Picker Health Care Products.

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