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Joint Financing Agreement with Sweden's NXT2B may allow greater access to Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disease Diagnosis in Emerging and Developing Markets

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 5:45am
The Associated Press

UPPSALA, Sweden & WAUKESHA, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 19, 2012-- GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), and NXT2B, a privately owned venture capital company, today announced they have entered into a joint financing agreement with the goal of developing a micro-scale radiotracer infrastructure including cyclotron and PET tracer production. The three-year development project will be led by GE Healthcare and will be headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"In line with GE's healthymagination strategy to develop innovations that increase access, reduce cost and improve quality in the healthcare system globally, GE Healthcare and NXT2B are pleased to announce a joint financing project to develop an unmatched next generation of equipment and software for the production of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracers," said Erik Stromqvist, general manager, Cyclotrons, GE Healthcare. "The goal of the project is to develop a turn-key radiotracer infrastructure solution for the production of PET tracers to primarily fulfill the needs of emerging markets, for rural and regional hospitals, and researchers." At the core of the new TRACERcenter* 600 is a unique compact, cost effective, easy to site cyclotron, and a radiotracer production operation building on GE Healthcare's more than 80- year legacy in radiopharmaceuticals and chemistry. The PETtrace* 600 cyclotron will have approximately 50 percent smaller footprint than a traditional cyclotron, enabling siting in settings never before possible. Together with PETtrace 600, TRACERcenter 600 solution will be capable of producing a full portfolio of F18 and C11 tracers to detect cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

"We're proud to partner with GE to help create greater access to PET tracer production in areas of the world that previously did not have access to and to address the large unmet needs for PET diagnostics in oncology and neurology," said Bengt Aagerup ,CEO and Founder, NXT2B.

While the technology of PET scanners have rapidly developed and evolved, parallel advancements in the necessary tracer production equipment and processes have not occurred. Current PET tracer production methods are costly, complicated and require a large number of highly trained individuals. With the inherent nature of the short lived isotopes, distribution is often not possible due to lack of supporting infrastructure in regions where PET imaging is expanding.

"Simplifying the process and technology of PET tracer production involves a paradigm shift from a traditional approach to a small, easy to use cyclotron, a chemistry module that is automated, and a complete and compliant quality control process that is integrated into the system," added Stromqvist. "GE's cyclotrons have gained a reputation worldwide of being the most reliable, most flexible and easily upgradeable, from a company recognized as a partner by its customers." *Trademark of General Electric Company ABOUT NXT2B NXT2B is a privately owned investment company started in 2011 by the Swedish entrepreneur Bengt Aagerup. NXT2B focuses on growth equity investments in healthcare, medical devices and specialty pharmaceutical companies but also invests in technology and consumer companies. With its structure, NXT2B is able to make fast decisions on any investment opportunity and has invested in more than 30 companies.

NXT2B supports its portfolio company management teams not only financially but also with entrepreneurial experience to build fast growing, market leading companies. For more information about NXT2B visit our website at www.nxt2b.com.

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE: GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost.

In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.

CONTACT: GE Healthcare Rebecca Hayne, +1 414-248-1542 rebecca.hayne@ge.com NXT2B Alexander Kotsinas, +46 735 00 11 11 Alexander.Kotsinas@nxt2b.com KEYWORD: UNITED STATES EUROPE NORTH AMERICA SWEDEN WISCONSIN INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TECHNOLOGY OTHER TECHNOLOGY HEALTH CLINICAL TRIALS HOSPITALS MEDICAL DEVICES ONCOLOGY RADIOLOGY OTHER HEALTH RESEARCH OTHER SCIENCE MEDICAL SUPPLIES SCIENCE SOURCE: GE Healthcare Copyright Business Wire 2012 PUB: 04/19/2012 09:00 AM/DISC: 04/19/2012 09:00 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120419005082/

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