Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Amersham PLC (AHM)

  Print      Mail a friend

Tuesday 27 November, 2001

Amersham PLC

Re Agreement

Amersham PLC
27 November 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                    GE MEDICAL SYSTEMS AND AMERSHAM HEALTH

                    ESTABLISH BROAD RESEARCH COLLABORATION

  Companies to Research New Molecular Diagnostics Based on Positron Emission
                       Tomography Imaging Technologies

WAUKESHA, Wis. and LONDON, U.K., (November 27, 2001) - GE Medical Systems, a
unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and Amersham Health (formerly
Nycomed Amersham Imaging), a business of Amersham plc, (LSE, NYSE, OSE: AHM)
announced today that the companies have signed a broad collaborative research
agreement to accelerate the development of new positron emission tomography
(PET) based molecular diagnostic imaging technologies and systems. The first
project under this agreement will involve the development of a PET synthesis
system that will produce a new generation of targeted molecular
radiopharmaceuticals.

'PET is a superb imaging technique for the early detection and diagnosis of
diseases,' stated Joseph M. Hogan, President and CEO of GE Medical Systems.
'We believe the development of these new diagnostic technologies will extend
the utility of PET and help physicians to treat diseases earlier than is
possible today.'

Current PET synthesis systems that interface with cyclotrons are capable of
generating just one diagnostic pharmaceutical, usually 18-F-fluorodeoxyglucose
(FDG). The goal of this collaboration is to ultimately deliver a
next-generation 'chemistry lab' that can output a number of innovative PET
diagnostics with high disease specificity.

'PET imaging promises rapid expansion with the introduction of new and
innovative PET radiopharmaceuticals, ' said Dr. John Padfield, Amersham
Health's Chief Executive Officer. 'As the global leader in
radiopharmaceuticals, Amersham Health has all of the necessary scientific,
supply chain and commercial expertise to bring a wide range of these new
products through development and into the market, and when combined with GE
Medical Systems' expertise in PET cyclotrons, scanners and chemistry synthesis
modules, will provide faster access to market with high quality PET
radiopharmaceuticals and synthesis systems. These will be used for the
diagnosis of a wide range of human diseases, including cancer and Parkinson's
Disease at an early stage.'

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cancer is the second leading
cause of death; one in four deaths is related to cancer, while Parkinson's
Disease afflicts one in 100. Early detection, precise diagnosis and effective
treatment of these diseases are the basis for researching new PET diagnostics.
The first products to be developed through this new PET synthesis system will
be high pharmaceutical quality FDG and F-DOPA, which is used to aid in the
diagnosis and evaluation of Parkinson's patients.

Amersham Health and GE Medical Systems are aggressively pursuing the
development of non-invasive molecular imaging to detect and monitor disease
with specific molecular markers. Amersham Health is the leader in diagnostic
pharmaceutical research and development, and with this agreement is making a
firm commitment to become the global leader in the PET radiopharmaceutical
market. By working together, GE Medical Systems and Amersham Health hope to
enable doctors to detect, diagnose and stage diseases earlier and more
accurately so that they can provide their patients with the most effective
treatments available.

'PET imaging provides metabolic and functional information about diseases that
complements anatomical imaging such as CT, MRI or SPECT,' said Dr. William
Clarke, Executive Vice President, Research and Development for Amersham
Health. 'It can help physicians provide earlier diagnosis of diseases and also
provide rapid and quantitative assessment of a patient's response to therapy.
Through our Imanet(TM) initiative, Amersham Health is working with leading
pharmaceutical companies to identify the role that PET can play in the
creation of novel diagnostic products that can complement new therapeutic
drugs.'

'Our companies will take information learned from the mapping of the human
genome to target early biomarkers of disease,' said Eric Stahre, General
Manager of Genomics and Molecular Imaging at GE Medical Systems. 'GE Medical
Systems and Amersham are committed to bringing a number of new PET
applications into clinical settings. This truly is the future of PET imaging
and molecular diagnostic science.'

About Amersham Health

Amersham Health is the leading global pharmaceutical provider of diagnostic
and predictive imaging products and services and related therapeutic products.
Amersham Health is dedicated to providing healthcare professionals with
products that expand and improve their diagnostic capabilities and contribute
to the treatment of disease. Amersham Health is committed to finding
innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions with a focus on cardiology,
neurology and cancer.

Amersham plc, is a world leader in medical diagnostics and in life sciences.
Headquartered in the UK, the company has annual sales of £1.4 billion
(approximately US $2.1 billion) and around 9,000 employees worldwide. Its
strategy is to build its position as a leading provider of products and
technologies enabling disease to be better understood, diagnosed earlier and
treated more effectively.

For additional information, visit the Amersham Health Web site at
www.amershamhealth.com or the Amersham plc corporate Web site at
www.amersham.com.

About GE Medical Systems

GE Medical Systems is an $8 billion global leader in medical information and
technology. Its offerings include networking and productivity tools, clinical
information systems, patient monitoring systems, conventional and digital
X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), ultrasound and bone
mineral densitometry, positron emission tomography (PET) and nuclear medicine.
For more than 100 years, health care providers worldwide have relied on GE
Medical Systems for high-quality medical technology, services and productivity
solutions. For more information, visit the GE Medical Systems Web site at
gemedical.com.



Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth
in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
'safe harbor' provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties
that may cause actual results to differ materially.  Amersham and GE Medical
Systems caution that there can be no assurance that actual results or
conditions will not differ materially from those projected or suggested in
such forward-looking statements based on a variety of factors, including, but
not limited to, the companies' early stages of development, product
developments risks, uncertainty of additional funding, competition, reliance
on a few customers, and the companies' abilities to protect their patents and
proprietary rights and commercialize their products. Amersham and GE Medical
Systems disclaim any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking
statements.

                                    £ £ £

Editor's Notes:

Medical diagnostic products marketed by Amersham Health are used to understand
and treat major diseases using x-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic
resonance, ultrasound and functional imaging. Contrast and radiopharmaceutical
imaging products are, in general, injected into the bloodstream to enhance
images taken of the structure or function of body organs and tissues. These
enhanced diagnostic images enable physicians to more accurately detect,
diagnose and treat diseases of the heart, lung, brain and functional
abnormalities. In addition, Amersham Health markets products that are used to
treat localized tumors such as prostate cancer, or to treat pain from cancer
that has spread to bones.

Amersham Health and IMANET(TM)

In February, 2001, Amersham Health announced that it will establish an
international network of leading imaging research centres called IMANET(TM),
which will provide imaging solutions to pharmaceutical companies developing
novel therapeutics. IMANET(TM) will principally be built around Position-
Emission Tomography, or PET, which provides diagnostic information at a 
molecular level and will enable Amersham Health to progress its long-term 
strategy to develop predictive medicine products in partnership with the 
pharmaceutical industry worldwide.

Through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, Amersham Health is aiming
to bring closer the crucial link between the diagnosis of a disease and its
subsequent therapy. Ultimately, by co-developing diagnostic and therapeutic
products, we can significantly advance the clinical approach to disease
management, which will offer crucial new benefits to patients.

For more information, contact:-

Media Relations:                         Investor Relations:

Jennifer Christiansen                    Alexandra Morris

GE Medical Systems                       Amersham plc

(262) 548 2910                           +44 1494 54 2051

jennifer.christiansen@med.ge.com         alexandra.morris@amersham.com

Graeme Holland                           Tracy Cheung

Amersham plc                             Amersham plc

+44 1494 54 2115                         (732) 457 8684

graeme.holland@amersham.com              tracy.cheung@amersham.com

Carol Perlman

Amersham Health

(609) 514 6600

carol.perlman@amersham.com