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Integrated Cardiac Solutions Aims To Accelerate Widespread Use Of More Accurate, Efficient Cardiac PET Imaging


6/1/2006 12:20:34 PM

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bracco Group, the leader in diagnostic imaging, and Integrated Medical Solutions, LLC today announced the formation of a new company, Integrated Cardiac Solutions, LLC (ICS). ICS will provide turnkey services that enable outpatient cardiology groups and heart centers to implement cardiac PET perfusion imaging technology, a highly accurate testing method used for the detection of cardiovascular disease.

"The formation of ICS will lead an evolution in the field of cardiology," said Carlo Medici, President and CEO of Bracco Diagnostics Inc. "Practices will now have an unprecedented opportunity to, first and foremost, offer expanded imaging services to their patients and, secondly, to improve the efficiency of their business. ICS and its wide array of services will be there to help them implement cardiac PET perfusion imaging every step of the way."

Two recent clinical publications, one from Bateman, et.al,(1) and another from Chow, et.al,(2) indicate that PET perfusion imaging is more accurate in the detection of coronary artery disease than the widely used SPECT perfusion imaging modality, especially in women. In addition, the average time required for a cardiac PET perfusion test is approximately 30 minutes, versus three to four hours for the average cardiac SPECT perfusion test making cardiac PET more convenient for patients.

"We're excited about the opportunity to bring world-class PET technology to more cardiology practices nationwide," said Robert Bridwell, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer of ICS. "This is a classic case of newer technology producing improved benefits at the community level."

According to ICS President and CEO Stan Grice, changes in reimbursement create opportunities that financially support a viable community based cardiac PET imaging service. "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced new payment rates for cardiac PET perfusion reimbursement," said Grice. "The financial barriers that once stopped practices from using cardiac PET are virtually going away. Now, access to affordable PET equipment, coupled with increased patient throughput and favorable reimbursement, will translate into significant value for the community based cardiology practice."

Cardiac PET perfusion imaging predominately uses the radionuclide Rubidium-82, which can be derived from CardioGen-82(R) (Rubidium Rb 82 Generator), the only FDA-approved generator-based cardiac PET perfusion agent. Over the past 18 months the number of new CardioGen-82 sites has increased by nearly 90%. The adoption of Cardiac PET in the outpatient setting is gaining favor among many cardiologists throughout the United States.

"I see ICS filling a missing piece in the rapidly emerging field of cardiac PET perfusion imaging. This venture will create a practical bridge, assisting practices in successfully implementing cardiac PET imaging as a significant and valued element in their patient management options," states Bill Abbott, VP and General Manager of Nuclear Medicine at Bracco Diagnostics Inc.

To facilitate a smooth transition to cardiac PET perfusion imaging, ICS will provide outpatient cardiology groups and heart centers a complimentary practice assessment to help them determine if a cardiac PET program is economically feasible. As a part of ICS's turnkey services, the ICS implementation program, known as Cardiac Transitions, will provide clinical, administrative, and marketing assistance for a minimum 90 days or longer depending on the requirements of each site. Each site will also receive a copy of ICS's proprietary clinical, administrative and marketing program manual that promotes ease of implementation and continued operational success for a cardiac PET program.

About Bracco

The Bracco Group is a world leading provider of global diagnostic imaging solutions, with net sales of about 800 million Euros per year. Bracco has operations in 115 countries and about 2,200 employees, around 400 of whom work in R & D. Bracco invests approximately 15% of its annual turnover in R & D and has a portfolio of 1,500 patents worldwide.

The Bracco Group is a leader in the diagnostic imaging market with an integrated product offering from a diverse roster of subsidiary companies. While Bracco is recognized internationally as a definitive market leader in its core business of contrast media, Bracco also markets key diagnostic imaging resources through the following companies: ACIST Medical Systems, a manufacturer of advanced contrast media injection systems and Singapore-based Volume Interactions, which also produces advanced 3D medical software.

Bracco also operates a high-level international research network, with three centers (Milan, Geneva, and Princeton). These centers develop products of the latest-generation diagnostic techniques, from X-ray and computed tomography (CT) to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echo contrast and nuclear medicine.

About Integrated Medical Solutions, LLC

Integrated Medical Solutions (IMS) is an industry leader in meeting the clinical and business needs of community diagnostic imaging centers. Specializing in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), IMS has worked with over 200 of the nearly 2,000 PET systems nationwide, in over 35 states. Through a subsidiary company, IMS owns PETLinQ(TM), an internet-based application service provider. PETLinQ(TM) is being used to transport/archive diagnostic images, to send patient reports, to access educational training material, and to track clinical outcome measures, by approximately 12,000 registered users.

About CardioGen-82

CardioGen-82 is the only FDA approved generator-based PET perfusion agent reimbursed for the evaluation of coronary artery disease.

As in the use of any radioactive material, care should be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the patient consistent with proper patient management and to ensure minimum radiation exposure to occupational workers.

Radiopharmaceuticals should be used only by physicians who are qualified by training and experience in the safe use and handling of radioisotopes and whose experience and training have been approved by the appropriate government agency authorized to license the use of radionuclides.

Please see full prescribing information available at http://www.cardiogen.com

References:

(1) Bateman et. al. Diagnostic accuracy of rest/stress ECG-gated Rb-82 myocardial perfusion PET: Comparison with ECG-gated Tc-99m sestamibi SPECT. J Nucl Cardio 2006;13:24-33.

(2) Chow BJ, Wong JW, Yoshinaga K, et. al. Prognostic Significance of Dipyridamole-Induced ST Depression in Patients with Normal 82Rb PET Myocardial Perfusion Imaging. J Nucl Med. 2005;46:1095-1101.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This press pack includes also some products' commercial brands, which are not to be used unless by media addressed to the medical community.

Integrated Cardiac Solutions, LLC

CONTACT: Karla Bradshaw of Bradshaw Communications, Inc., +1-703-739-1003,for Integrated Cardiac Solutions, LLC


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