Siemens Healthcare plans to release software for a recently released PET-CT scanner that could potentially help quantify amyloid plaque deposits in the brain linked with Alzheimer's disease, the company said Tuesday.
The system, which is pending clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, is the first to take advantage of Eli Lilly & Co.'s PET imaging agent Amyvid (florbetapir), approved by the FDA on Friday. Eli Lilly says the radioactive dye binds to plaque so doctors can see the extent of its build-up on PET scans. Using the scans, doctors would not be able to make a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, but they could possibly rule it out if no plaque is present.
Once Siemens' new software, called the syngo.PET Amyloid Plaque neurology quantification software, is cleared by the FDA, it would be available for Siemens' Biograph mCT, a PET-CT scanner released in February.
Siemens also said its PETNET Solutions subsidiary, the largest chain of radiopharmacies in the United States, will be the biggest producer and distributor of Amyvid. PETNET will start supplying U.S. imaging centers in "limited markets" over the summer, Siemens said.