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.