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GE Medical and Amersham Sharpen Their Molecular Image

Executive Summary

With a surge in interest in molecular imaging, GE Medical Systems has been on the prowl for new technologies that improve performance of its PET and SPECT systems, so that clinicians can obtain information at the subcellular level. Amersham Health, too, has been been looking for better systems to help improve distribution and performance of its radiopharmaceutical labeling agents. Now the two are joining forces to create a next-generation compound for PET using new, easier-to-use chemistries.

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GE's Pharma Ambitions Lead to a Lilly Deal

GE Healthcare's joint research collaboration with Eli Lilly is small and easy to miss. It's very early stage and doesn't involve money exchanging hands. But it's the first manifestation of GE's efforts to expand its relationships with pharma companies following its acquisition of Amersham PLC. GE will comb Lilly's extensive molecular libraries for targets that could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease earlier. GE could turn these targets into imaging agents. Lilly is eager for tools to help diagnose and manage Alzheimer's disease because it has several Alzheimer's drugs in development.

GE's Personalized Play for Amersham

GE Medical's pending $9.5 billion acquisition of Amersham PLC, while cast in terms of the company's commitment to accelerate progress in personalized medicine, is fundamentally a hard-headed numbers play aimed at maintaining momentum of GE's gargantuan $10 billion medical systems business unit. GE needs healthy businesses oriented towards growing markets to maintain its momentum. And Amersham, with its stable, predictable contrast agent and protein separations businesses fits well into the portfolio. Meanwhile, the personalized medicine play holds mid-to-long term promise.

GE's Personalized Play for Amersham

GE Medical's pending $9.5 billion acquisition of Amersham PLC, while cast in terms of the company's commitment to accelerate progress in personalized medicine, is fundamentally a hard-headed numbers play aimed at maintaining momentum of GE's gargantuan $10 billion medical systems business unit. GE needs healthy businesses oriented towards growing markets to maintain its momentum. And Amersham, with its stable, predictable contrast agent and protein separations businesses fits well into the portfolio. Meanwhile, the personalized medicine play holds mid-to-long term promise.

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