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Amersham Little Help to GE Healthcare in This Down Market

Executive Summary

As befits this struggling economy, each of the Big Three in diagnostic imaging sounded downbeat in their 2008 year-end financial assessments. But more so than the other two, GE Healthcare focuses on the development of new imaging agents, owing to its acquisition of Amersham in late 2003. Ant that integration has been admittedly slow.

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GE Acquires Clarient To Anchor Its Molecular IVD Business

GE is buying Clarient, which provides molecular cancer tests. It intends to make Clarient the cornerstone around which it builds out a molecular in vitro diagnostics business, combining Clarient with its own diagnostic imaging expertise to give it a full suite of triage and cancer diagnostic capabilities. In some ways, it could solve GE's long-standing issue of how to innovate in healthcare and move into high-value businesses without taking on the risks and timelines of pharma-style R&D.

GE Acquires Clarient To Anchor Its Molecular IVD Business

GE is buying Clarient, which provides molecular cancer tests. It intends to make Clarient the cornerstone around which it builds out a molecular in vitro diagnostics business, combining Clarient with its own diagnostic imaging expertise to give it a full suite of triage and cancer diagnostic capabilities. In some ways, it could solve GE's long-standing issue of how to innovate in healthcare and move into high-value businesses without taking on the risks and timelines of pharma-style R&D.

The Pace of Development of Molecular Imaging Agents

The adoption of new in vivo molecular imaging agents may eventually follow the current path of in vitro diagnostics, which for some products is shifting from a cost-effectiveness standard for reimbursement toward an evidence-based. But the companies most likely to support the clinical trials that would establish such benefits are only slowly integrating the development of molecular agents into their core businesses. IVD - an area of acquisition interest for these companies -may be the force that transforms them into more biologically minded and innovation-driven entities, and in so doing it may bolster the development of molecular imaging agents.

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