Amersham wins US go-ahead

MAGNUS GRIMOND

Amersham International, the health-care and life sciences group, has won approval to market its Myoview advanced heart imaging agent in the US. The news had been expected following an announcement in July, but it still sent the shares 15p higher to 850p yesterday.

The company said the US Food and Drug Administration had given the go- ahead to sell Myoview, a radiopharmaceutical agent used in heart imaging. It will be launched in the US next month, aimed at an estimated market worth pounds 140m, representing more than half the world-wide total for heart imaging of more than pounds 250m.

The proprietary kits for the preparation of the injectable medical isotope technetium will be marketed through the chain of 120 radiopharmacies and exclusive distributorships established by Amersham in the US last year. It received its first European licence in 1993 and is approved in all the big European markets and Japan.

.Bill Castell, chief executive, described the new agent as "a major step forward in non-invasive diagnosis of heart disease. It enables doctors to obtain clear heart images quickly and so operate an efficient and cost- effective service for the benefit of patient and hospital."

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