Advanced NMR Systems this month finalized an agreement with GEMedical Systems governing the MRI technology development relationshipbetween the firms. Advanced NMR has expanded its strategic alliancewith GE, moving from supplying InstaScan components for
Advanced NMR Systems this month finalized an agreement with GEMedical Systems governing the MRI technology development relationshipbetween the firms. Advanced NMR has expanded its strategic alliancewith GE, moving from supplying InstaScan components for the Signa1.5-tesla system to acting as integrator of very high-field 3-teslaand 4-tesla systems. Advanced NMR will also provide special orderdesign and manufacturing capabilities for GE.
The agreement allows Advanced NMR of Wilmington, MA, to continueleveraging its technical expertise, according to Robert Kwolyk,vice president of sales and marketing for the company.
"It is consistent with our overall strategy as a highlytechnical engineering house to put more into the manufacturingcapabilities of the technology," Kwolyk said.
Kwolyk was the principal architect of the deal, having cometo Advanced NMR in April from GE, where he had served some 17years (SCAN 6/1/94). Shortly after Kwolyk's arrival, Peter Roemerwas recruited from GE's R&D program.Roemer, now ANMR's engineeringprogram manager, had provided the technical expertise on GE's3-tesla and 4-tesla systems. Kwolyk was in charge of the salesand marketing of these products.
"When they came over, it was a natural for ANMR to playan expanded role in 3-tesla and 4-tesla systems," said JoeSaldarini, who had been manager of sales and marketing prior toKwolyk's arrival and is now a regional sales manager. Saldarininoted that discussions about ANMR's involvement in the 3-teslaand 4-tesla program were under way before Kwolyk and Roemer arrived.
The two companies have agreed that GE will take orders for3-tesla and 4-tesla systems, then subcontract with ANMR to buildthe scanners. ANMR will integrate the components, including magnets,and ship the finished products to customers.
"Our role is to utilize the components furnished by GEand integrate all other components, and then do the engineeringand integration and staging up to and including shipment,"Kwolyk said.
Revenues from the three-year agreement, which ends June 30,1997, will go toward satisfying GE's obligation under the precedingcontract to purchase InstaScan products, which provide fast scanningcapabilities. GE's exclusivity on the InstaScan product will expireat the end of this year.
At that time, ANMR will be able to sell InstaScan productsadapted for use on scanners made by other vendors, according toANMR chairman and CEO Jack Nelson.
"The agreement recognizes our wish to exclusively manufacturehigher field systems for GEMS while releasing ANMR to market InstaScansystems and/or retrofits via multiple OEM agreements after December31, 1994," Nelson said.
ANMR is positioning itself to be an engineering and developmentresource for all manufacturers in the industry, according to Kwolyk.InstaScan was designed primarily as an add-on to the installedbase of Signa systems. It is a logical extension to modify thatbasic technology to work on other vendors' products, he said.
Discussions are continuing on other collaborations that couldresult in additional agreements between GE and ANMR, Kwolyk noted.One such collaboration would be to adapt the InstaScan echo-planarimaging system for use on very high field MRI research systems.Some research sites have asked for such add-ons, according toKwolyk.