Syncor agrees to distribute FDG for Massachusetts General Hospital

July 22, 1998

Deal gives company access to burgeoning FDG marketRadiopharmaceutical firm Syncor International of Woodland Hills, CA, regained access to a critical nuclear medicine resource last month when it announced an agreement with Massachusetts General

Deal gives company access to burgeoning FDG market

Radiopharmaceutical firm Syncor International of Woodland Hills, CA, regained access to a critical nuclear medicine resource last month when it announced an agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for the distribution of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) manufactured by the hospital’s cyclotron. The deal makes Syncor the exclusive distributor of MGH’s supply of FDG.

Massachusetts General Hospital installed its first cyclotron 30 years ago and has continued to develop its production facilities. According to the terms of the five-year deal, Syncor agrees to distribute MGH’s FDG, as well as market the agent and promote its use through educational and sales programs. Syncor will not manufacture FDG, according to the agreement.

The deal gets Syncor back on an FDG bandwagon that has become increasingly crowded in the wake of the Health Care Financing Administration’s announcement last month of a $1980 payment rate for PET of lung cancer studies (SCAN 6/10/98). In 1991, Syncor had a four-site cyclotron network; five years later, in response to the constricted supply of FDG, the company used its network to start P.E.T.Net Pharmaceutical Services with CTI of Knoxville, TN. When the venture proved too costly, Syncor sold its P.E.T.Net stake to CTI and individual investors. P.E.T.Net currently operates 13 cyclotron centers throughout the U.S. and expects to establish 33 more in the next three to five years (SCAN 6/10/98).

With a national network of 118 radiopharmacies, Syncor specializes in just-in-time delivery of sensitive pharmaceuticals like FDG. The company’s Boston radiopharmacy will distribute MGH’s FDG to hospitals and clinics in the New England area but will not service other radiopharmaceutical companies. In addition to its radiopharmacies, Syncor operates more than 39 imaging centers throughout the U.S. None have PET capability, although the company would not rule out the possibility of adding PET technology to its imaging center network in the future, according to company spokesperson Mary Meusborn. Syncor plans to partner with other institutions with cyclotrons and indicated that the corporate agenda represented by the MGH deal could mean competition for its offspring, P.E.T.Net.