MDS Nordion Enters Collaboration Agreement with Avid Radiopharmaceuticals on Imaging Compounds for Alzheimer's Disease

    New molecular imaging agents may allow early detection of the plaque
    associated with Alzheimer's disease

    OTTAWA, April 4 /CNW/ - MDS Nordion, a leading global provider of medical
isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals used in molecular medicine, has entered into
a collaboration agreement with Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. to support
clinical studies for Avid's novel radiopharmaceuticals designed to diagnose
and monitor Alzheimer's disease. These trials will use advanced molecular
imaging known as single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Under the
terms of the agreement, MDS Nordion will radiolabel Avid's proprietary
compounds for use in proof-of-concept clinical trials for SPECT imaging of
Alzheimer's disease.
    Avid is a pioneer in the development of radiopharmaceuticals for imaging
Alzheimer's disease pathology. Increasingly, molecular imaging is being used
as a biomarker tool to guide the development of new therapeutics. Avid's lead
product candidates are being developed to identify amyloid protein plaques,
which are thought to accumulate in the brain before the onset of clinical
symptoms of the disease. Avid's compounds may enable the earlier diagnosis of
Alzheimer's disease and also allow researchers to better evaluate therapeutic
drug candidates for the prevention or reversal of amyloid plaque build-up in
the brain.
    According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are approximately
5 million people in the United States who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. As
the population ages that number is expected to grow significantly. Meanwhile,
the costs associated with the disease are considerable. The Alzheimer's
Association estimates that the direct and indirect costs for treatment and
care of Alzheimer's patients in the United States alone is US
$148 billion annually.
    "This partnership with Avid provides an exciting opportunity to develop a
new molecular imaging agent that can assist researchers to identify a more
effective therapy for patients with this debilitating disease," said Steve
West, President of MDS Nordion. "MDS Nordion is using its proprietary
technologies to work to develop these important compounds with our
pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical partners."
    MDS Nordion has an established global track-record in radiopharmaceutical
formulation, production and process development. It provides integrated
services that support the discovery, development and production of molecular
imaging agents and radiopharmaceuticals. With GMP facilities in Ottawa and
Vancouver, Canada, and Fleurus, Belgium, MDS Nordion can accommodate a variety
of development, production and supply requirements.
    "As a world leader in molecular medicine with extensive experience and
expertise in the development and production of radiopharmaceuticals, it was a
natural choice for us to work with MDS Nordion on our molecular imaging agents
for the early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease," said Alan
Carpenter, Vice President of Business Development at Avid.

    About Avid

    Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc. is a product-focused molecular imaging
company which is developing novel diagnostic imaging agents to enable the
earlier diagnosis, treatment selection and therapeutic monitoring of major
medical disorders. The company is a pioneer in the development of molecular
imaging agents for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Avid's technology can be used with a variety of imaging techniques such as
positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon computed tomography
(SPECT) and is currently being tested in a number of initial human studies.
For more information, visit

    About MDS Nordion

    MDS Nordion ( is a world leader in medical isotopes,
radiation and related technologies. It is a division of MDS Inc.
(TSX:MDS)(NYSE:  MDZ). MDS Inc. is a global life sciences company that provides
market-leading products and services that our customers need for the
development of drugs and diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading
global provider of pharmaceutical contract research, medical isotopes for
molecular imaging, radiotherapeutics, and analytical instruments. MDS Inc. has
more than 6,200 highly skilled people in 28 countries. Find out more at or by calling 1-888-MDS-7222, 24 hours a day.

For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries, Tamra Benjamin, Director,
Marketing Communications, MDS Nordion, (613) 592-3400 x1022,; Investor Inquiries, Sharon Mathers, Senior
Vice-President, Investor Relations and External Communications, (416) 675-6777
ext. 34721,

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