Operator extends Canadian reactor shutdown indefinitely
In a move designed to combine key imaging and electronically based clinical management tools, Merge Healthcare has reached a definitive agreement for the acquisition of etrials Worldwide. The company provides web-based tools that help coordinate data capture, logistics, patient interaction, and management of clinical research trials. The Merge offer, a mix of $0.80 in cash and 0.3448 shares of Merge common stock for each share of etrials common stock, beats an offer from Bio-Imaging Technologies, made May 4 and amended May 15 and May 19, according to Merge, which claims that if the deal goes through, the combined organization will provide contract research organizations and the sponsors of clinical trials with comprehensive imaging and management tools.
The shutdown of Canada's aging National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River will continue indefinitely, according to Atomic Energy Canada Limited. In a May 27 announcement, AECL said it is too early to set a definite timeline for the reactor's return to service after a heavy water leak triggered an emergency shutdown about two weeks ago. Signs of strain from the shutdown are already apparent among U.S. nuclear medicine practitioners, who depend on the reactor's molybdenum isotope to generate technetium-99m for myocardial perfusion studies and bone scans. The reactor provides about a third of the world's supply of Mo-99, the parent isotope of Tc-99m, and half the supply used by North American practitioners.