Park absorbs Isis effort to launch digital camera

February 16, 1994

Park Meditech of Toronto unified its corporate structure overthe past two months and gained a listing on the U.S. NASDAQ stockexchange (symbol: PMDTF) last week. The moves are part of Park'spositioning for a worldwide launch into the nuclear medicine

Park Meditech of Toronto unified its corporate structure overthe past two months and gained a listing on the U.S. NASDAQ stockexchange (symbol: PMDTF) last week. The moves are part of Park'spositioning for a worldwide launch into the nuclear medicine cameramarket, according to Sheldon Inwentash, chairman and CEO.

Park, which will likely change its name to Park Medical Systems,is the parent company of Montreal-based Isis, developer of a fullydigital nuclear medicine camera (SCAN 9/23/92, 2/10/93 and 4/7/93).As part of the restructuring, medical imaging technology supplierAnalogic has shifted its investment from Isis to Park, Inwentashsaid.

Analogic, which assisted in developing the Isocam nuclear cameraproduct, previously owned a 44% share of Isis, equal to Park'sshare. The Peabody, MA, firm is now Park's largest shareholder,he said.

Park has purchased 98% of Isis and expects to buy out the remainingminority shareholder. The Toronto firm also owns 100% of two othernuclear medicine firms: Bartec of London, which supplies a nuclear medicineworkstation and image processing technology; and Ultimage of Montreal, a nuclear medicine design andengineering firm.

All technology from subsidiary firms will be used in Isocam,which is Park's only product to date. Future products will likelyevolve out of the firm's core nuclear medicine line, Inwentashsaid.

Bartec provides stand-alone nuclear medicine workstations toover 120 U.K. hospitals and some sites in continental Europe,he said. The company's workstation and software have been combinedwith the base digital acquisition technology from Isis. Bartecwill serve as the springboard for Park's approach to Europe withIsocam.

Ultimage provided Park with an experienced nuclear medicineengineering team led by Dr. Daniel Gagnon, a nuclear medicineresearcher who has developed two major patents in the field, Inwentashsaid.

Park's listing on NASDAQ will help increase the firm's liquidityas well as its visibility in the major U.S. market, which is expectedto provide over half of Isocam's sales, he told SCAN. Park beganshipping its first Isocam systems last month in the U.S., throughits U.S. unit, Osiris.

Both the Isis and Osiris names will be discontinued followingPark's acquisition, although the Isocam product name will be retained,Inwentash said.

"We will be one name and one company with marketing organizationsaround the world," he said.

Park has established four U.S. sales offices, soon to be five.The firm has about 90 employees. Sales will be made through acombination of direct and distribution efforts.

Isocam has been certified for market by the Food and Drug Administrationin its single-head form. A dual-head version of Isocam still requiresFDA review, he said.

Park has lined up two premier institutions for its first U.S.beta sites: Harvard affiliate New England Deaconess Hospital inBoston and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Installationof Isocam is under way at Deaconess. Park is searching for twomore luminary sites in the U.S., Inwentash said.

Prospects for the nuclear medicine camera market look bright,in part because of new radiopharmaceuticals working their waythrough the regulatory process, he said.

"The number of (nuclear medicine) procedures is growing,"Inwentash said. "As they grow, this drives equipment sales.Sales of nuclear medicine equipment are increasing while, in othermodalities, sales are static or declining."

Isocam will be priced comparable to standard single- and dual-headnuclear cameras, he said. More demand is expected for the dual-headversion.

The digital technology, which converts nuclear data from analogto digital form on each photomultiplier tube, produces betterimage resolution and has throughput advantages, he said.

Isocam's ability to perform dual-isotope analysis, for instance,can cut the time required for cardiac rest-and-stress tests fromnine hours to one, Inwentash said.