Advanced Research Technologies acquires Alerion Biomedical
16 February 2006
Montreal, Canada. Advanced Research Technologies Inc. (ART) (TSX: ARA), a
Canadian medical device company and producer of optical molecular imaging
products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, has concluded a
definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the imaging technology
and product assets of Alerion Biomedical, Inc. The company is a US-based
developer and manufacturer of biomarkers and contrast media for preclinical
and clinical imaging devices. This transaction is subject to obtaining all
necessary regulatory approvals, including that of the Toronto Stock
"We are delighted with this acquisition, which represents a highly
strategic, value-added transaction for ART," said Micheline Bouchard,
President and CEO. "In addition to producing preclinical and clinical
imaging devices, ART will now have the capability to develop and supply
biomarker and imaging agents for the preclinical and clinical markets, thus
creating a new recurring revenue platform for the Company." "According to
recent industry reports, the total biomarker and radiopharmaceutical sector
represents a global market in excess of US$5.0 billion", added Ms. Bouchard.
Dr. Blake Ingle, Chairman of Alerion Biomedical, Inc., commented, "We are
pleased that our imaging products have found a home within ART whose
management is positioned to exploit the true economic potential of these
biomarker products in conjunction with ART's imaging devices."
A distinct advantage of the biomarker technology developed by Alerion
Biomedical, Inc., in particular the Fenestra product line, is its
application or potential application to multiple imaging modalities
including CT, Optical and MRI. "The ability of this new biomarker technology
to be adapted to multiple modalities will enlarge our customer base and help
accelerate market acceptance by researchers and clinicians," said Ms.
Bouchard. Initially, ART will offer its biomarker products to the
preclinical market, including its installed customer base of the world's
leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutions that currently
use ART's eXplore Optix preclinical optical imaging system.
An advantage inherent to the Fenestra biomarker technology is that it
enhances imaging on a user-friendly and non-radioactive basis, which makes
it more cost effective in that it permits multiple scans on the same
specimens over long periods of time. The technology was developed following
more than five years of research at the University of Michigan and
investment of over US$10 million in combined research and development
funding. Initial customers have included leading pharmaceutical and biotech
companies as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Alerion Biomedical biomarker technology acquired by ART has potential
applications for both the preclinical and clinical markets. The transaction
is expected to close within a few days and is subject to TSX approval. The
terms are not disclosed.