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MDS Nordion, Guerbet, and Cyceron Announce Partnership to Develop New Diagnostic Agents

Thursday, June 24, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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Collaboration will Assess New and Innovative Imaging Agents for Cancer Detection

OTTAWA, June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - MDS Nordion, a leading provider of products and services to the global health science market, Guerbet, a pharmaceutical group specialized in medical imaging, and Cyceron, a biomedical imaging centre in France, announced today they have entered into an agreement to develop new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiotracers for cancer diagnostics. The project, which brings together three world-class scientific teams, will investigate a radiopharmaceutical using Gallium-68 (Ga-68) to assess its functionality and image quality, develop a formulation to allow preparation at an imaging clinic and evaluate commercial feasibility.

Under the terms of the agreement, MDS Nordion, Guerbet, and Cyceron will provide complementary expertise in radiochemistry, radiolabeling and targeted delivery of radioisotopes. Guerbet will lead the project for its duration as the scientific coordinator. In addition, each party will provide scientific resources and in-kind contributions for the project.

"It is exciting that these partners, working in complementary areas and from different nations, have deployed their efforts to advance this technology that will ultimately benefit patients," said Claire Corot, Vice President, Research, Guerbet. "Currently, PET imaging agents have contributed to considerable diagnostic advances; however, our project will investigate and determine if a Gallium-68 based radiotracer can become an additional imaging tool more widely used by clinicians."

Support and funding of this project will be provided to Guerbet through OSEO Innovation, under the authority of France's Ministries of Finance, Industry, Small Businesses and Research. In addition, Eureka - an intergovernmental initiative aimed at enhancing European competitiveness - has assisted in facilitating access and eligibility to national public and private funding. This project has received the internationally recognized Eureka label indicating the organization's full support. Cyceron is also supported by the Regional Council of Lower Normandy, OSEO Lower Normandy and the European Regional Development Fund.

"This project is another example of how MDS Nordion continues to be a valued partner by leaders in the molecular imaging field," says Peter Covitz, Senior Vice-President, Innovation, MDS Nordion. "We believe that partnering with Guerbet and Cyceron - utilizing our different strengths and capabilities - will further advance technology and improve molecular imaging for the future."

"This project meets the mission of Cyceron, pooling skills, experience, technical knowledge and financial resources to advance technology platforms that will ultimately benefit hospitals and research facilities," said Bernard Mazoyer, Director of Cyceron. "Through this groundbreaking research we hope to bring new and innovative PET imaging tracers from conceptualization to realization."

Currently, the most common radioisotope used in PET imaging is Fluorine-18, used to create the tracer for glucose, F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose, commonly known as FDG. However, Gallium-68 is viewed by the research and medical communities as an important emerging isotope for the development of new diagnostic PET tracers. Gallium-68 is produced from a small generator rather than directly from a cyclotron, greatly reducing the infrastructure needed to prepare an agent for clinics.

About Guerbet

Guerbet is the only pharmaceutical group fully dedicated to medical imaging. It has the most comprehensive range of x-ray and MRI contrast media available worldwide. These products assist medical professionals (radiologists, cardiologists, oncologists, etc.) in better diagnosing and treating their patients (cardiovascular, cancer, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases).

To develop new products and assure its future growth, every year Guerbet devotes significant resources to research and development with 180 R&D employees and an amount equivalent to approximately 10 percent of sales.

Guerbet is solidly positioned in Europe with a market share of 25 percent and is expanding its presence in the United States and Japan. Guerbet, listed on Eurolist Euronext Paris in compartment B had sales in 2009 of (euro)335.5 million with a total workforce of 1,300 employees.

For additional information please consult: www.guerbet.com.

About Cyceron

Established in 1985, Cyceron is a centre for biomedical imaging and research in the field of neuroscience. The organization is a public interest group, working under the aegis of the main national institutes of research CEA, CNRS, Inserm. In addition, Cyceron has established partnerships with the University of Caen, the University Hospital of Caen, the François Baclesse Anti-Cancer Centre, GANIL, as well as the Lower Normandy Region.

Cyceron is one of three advanced research centres in France that studies Positron Emission Tomography. The organization continues to advance its research and development programs thanks to generous financial support from the French State, the Territorial Communities, and the European Union (FEDER). Cyceron accommodates over 6000 m(2) of unique and complex laboratories, with instruments for pre-clinical and clinical research. In addition, it houses a cyclotron and chemistry laboratories for the production of radiopharmaceuticals, molecular and cellular biology laboratories, associated physiology installations, positron cameras, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging devices, and electroencephalographic mapping devices.

Cyceron hosts the Centre for Imaging-Neuroscience and Applications to Pathologies (CI-NAPS), a research unit that is part of the Methodological Developments in Positron Emission Tomography Group, headed by Louisa Barré.

For more information about Cyceron visit www.cyceron.fr.

About MDS

MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS; NYSE: MDZ) is a global health science company that provides market-leading products and services used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of innovative technologies for use in medical imaging and radiotherapeutics, and sterilization technologies benefiting the lives of millions of people in more than 65 countries around the world. Our products and services are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. MDS has more than 700 highly skilled people in five locations. Find out more at www.mdsnordion.com.

SOURCE MDS Inc.

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