In March, when FluoroPharma Medical, a developer of unique imaging agents for use with positron emission tomography (PET), filed their 10-K for fiscal 2011, there were no surprises, leading Zack's Investment Research to reaffirm its $2.00 price target and recommendation of "Outperform". In that same month, FluoroPharma announced that they had signed a letter of intent with SGS Life Sciences to provide clinical research services for Phase II trials of FluoroPharma's CardioPET imaging agent for determining cardiac viability. It's an important step for the company, since CardioPET is expected to be one of FPMI's first products to reach the marketplace, where it would offer a superior alternative to stress testing and represent a major market opportunity.
The three primary products for FluoroPharma are:
• CardioPET - For cardiac viability assessment (detecting regions of metabolic insufficiency)
• BFET - For myocardial perfusion imaging (measuring cardiovascular blood flow)
• VasoPET - For inflamed atherosclerotic plaque imaging (detecting inflamed plaque)
PET technology fills a critical gap in diagnostic imaging, allowing doctors and researchers to see important biochemical processes taking place at the cellular and molecular level, something that other imaging technologies simply cannot match. To do this requires chemical tracers that can integrate themselves into the process being monitored.
There are approximately 12 million PET imaging procedures carried out in the U.S. each year, but currently available PET tracers have significant drawbacks, including high cost, safety issues, and supply shortages. And most of these scans are for the diagnosis of cancer. As a result, there is a growing demand for new radiopharmaceuticals, including tracers for heart imaging such as those under development by FPMI. Basically, FluoroPharm's drugs improve diagnostic accuracy over existing technologies, improving patient assessment. And it's not just an American market. Although the U.S. has traditionally been the biggest imaging market, the primary destination today for new PET scanners is China, meaning an increased demand for new tracers.
For more information, see the company website at www.FluoroPharma.com
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