Another OEM has tossed its hat into the PET arena: Cleveland-based Marconi Medical Systems has signed a distribution agreement with CTI PET Systems under which Marconi will market a dedicated PET line under its own brand name, Magellan.
With the deal, Marconi joins GE, Siemens, ADAC, and Positron as U.S. suppliers of dedicated PET units. Sparked by expanded Medicare reimbursement rules, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, formerly HCFA) published in December 2000, the dedicated PET market seems to finally be coming into its own: Experts peg the growth rate of dedicated PET sales at 25% per year.
Marconi signed the deal with Knoxville, TN-based CTI in May, just as CTI renewed its existing distribution agreement with the nuclear medicine group of Siemens Medical Systems. Marconi's three-year, nonexclusive distribution deal with CTI brings the company into dedicated PET more quickly than if the firm were to build its own unit, according to Gina Larkin, manager of nuclear medicine marketing.
"Entering into this distribution agreement with CTI, rather than developing dedicated PET internally at Marconi, allows us to break into the PET market more quickly," Larkin said. "CTI is the leader in the dedicated PET arena, and we felt they were the best partner because of this leadership and their potential for growth."
Marconi highlighted the new line at the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Toronto. There are three products in the Magellan family: Magellan B220 for clinical sites, Magellan B320 for high-end research and clinical sites, and Magellan L360 for sites with high volumes. As the product names suggest, the systems use both BGO and LSO crystals, although their external design is fundamentally the same, according to Larkin. The units will range in price from $1.8 million to $2.5 million.
Since both Siemens and CTI sell dedicated PET units, Marconi is emphasizing the Magellan line’s fusion capability through its image volume registration software, which allows clinicians to incorporate anatomical and physiological images.
In addition to its new PET offerings, Marconi is highlighting its next-generation software platform, Odyssey LX, which will include clinical enhancements such as cardiac applications for perfusion and functional imaging. The software will be used with Magellan.
Also on display in the booth is the company’s Beacon nonuniform attenuation product and γ-PET AZ, digital detector hardware and software algorithms that were released at last year’s SNM show and are offered as an option to the company’s Axis and Irix SPECT systems.
Under discussion is the potential development of a hybrid CT/PET or MR/PET device, Larkin said, although Marconi is watching its competitors carefully to determine market acceptance of these kinds of systems.
"With CTI, there’s synergy to develop multimodality devices in the future," Larkin said. "We’re in discussion with them about this. The jury is still out on whether hybrid units will be accepted in the marketplace. It’s possible to do the same things with fusion software, which saves training time for technicians, space, and money."
By Kate Madden Yee
AuntMinnie.com contributing writer
June 27, 2001
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