Gamma Medica acquires AMI

Merger could mean the emergence of PET-MRI systems.

Jeffrey Bouley
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LOS ANGELES—Gamma Medica Ideas (GM-I), which is headquartered both here and Oslo, Norway, announced recently an agreement to acquire and merge operations with Sherbrooke, Quebec-based Advanced Molecular Imaging, Inc. (AMI).
As GM-I notes in the news release announcing the deal, the company provides next-generation medical imaging devices for the preclinical and clinical markets, while AMI is reportedly the only company deliv­ering a fully digital avalanche photodiode (APD) positron emission tomography (PET) product for preclinical imaging. As such, the combined company "emerges as the world's first and only company with a complete range of digital imaging technologies," GM-I notes.
More importantly, perhaps, the merger could mean the emergence of a hitherto impossible combination technology: PET-MRI systems. As Dr. Bradley E. Patt, GM-I's president, CEO and co-founder notes, PET-CT systems are a recent addition to the market, but the magnetic fields of MRI systems would make the vacuum tube in a PET system useless, making that particular technological innovation out of reach.
The APD technology is a silicon-based device to replace vacuum tubes—and a technology that is not adversely affected by high mag­netic fields. The APD technology that AMI has developed could also allow for the creation of smaller, more rug­ged imaging systems.
In general, the merged tech­nology of the two companies will provide molecular imaging cus­tomers with what Patt calls the world's first completely digital imaging suite, a feat that he pre­dicts will streamline imaging pro­tocols, improve data quality, and offer better insight into the biol­ogy and physiology that underlies disease—something that is critical for drug discovery, drug develop­ment, diagnosis and pharmaceuti­cal treatment protocols.
"The new entity is the ideal vehicle for bringing semiconductor detector technology and advanced digital signal processing to the molecular imaging market," adds Dr. Roger Lecomte, CTO of AMI.
At press time, the expecta­tion is that GM-I will continue to maintain a close relationship with AMI's academic partner, Université de Sherbrooke, which has developed strong expertise in PET imaging."

Jeffrey Bouley

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