Syncor inks three deals to expand nuclear medicine base

June 21, 2000

Will increase FDG output and sales forcePharmaceutical manufacturer Syncor of Woodland Hills, CA, struck three deals this month that will expand its presence and customer base in the nuclear medicine industry. The company aims to build the

Will increase FDG output and sales force

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Syncor of Woodland Hills, CA, struck three deals this month that will expand its presence and customer base in the nuclear medicine industry. The company aims to build the largest national FDG production network and make PET imaging more accessible to healthcare providers and consumers.

Syncor will acquire Advanced Isotope, a privately held, Tennessee-based company that has two high-yield FDG cyclotron sites nearing completion in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, FL. The Ft. Lauderdale facility is expected to open this week, and the Orlando facility is expected to open by August.

Syncor compounds and dispenses radiopharmaceuticals such as fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose—FDG—the radiopharmaceutical used most commonly in PET imaging. FDG is tagged with fluorine-18, a radioisotope that is produced by PET cyclotrons, such as those of Advanced Isotope. Because of the short life of radioisotopes, production facilities must be near the imaging facility where it will be used.

Kent Simpkins, president and CEO of Advanced Isotope, said the financial strength of Syncor will be coupled with his company’s strong management team.

Syncor’s second deal is a strategic relationship with GE Medical Systems and builds on the Advanced Isotope acquisition. Under the agreement, GE salespeople will be able to offer Syncor’s FDG radiopharmaceuticals when they are selling the GE Advance PET scanner to customers, said Tim Guttman, Syncor’s financial controller.

Syncor will buy several of GE’s Advance PET scanners and PET trace cyclotrons. The facilities Syncor is gaining through the Advanced Isotope acquisition are already equipped with GE Advance PET scanners.

Officials at both companies said the agreement will make PET technology more accessible. In addition, Syncor and GE Medical will collaborate on an e-commerce business plan that links their Web sites.

The third deal is a new partnership under which Syncor and Ion Beam Applications will soon begin construction on new FDG manufacturing facilities. Installations in Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia are slated to open in the first half of 2001, while others in New Orleans and Detroit will open at the end of 2001.

The two companies will announce the locations of more domestic centers in the next few months and start construction on international sites within the next year.

Under the agreement, IBA will provide the radioisotope-producing equipment while Syncor provides the services to dispense, package, and deliver PET unit doses.