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Executive Summary

BERLEX PREPARING FOR GADOLINIUM DPTA INTRODUCTION IN U.S. under a joint venture arrangement with Immunogenetics. An NDA for the first magnetic imaging contrast agent for head and neck lesions is currently pending at FDA. The product was noted in a Sept. 3 press release by ImmunoGenetics Inc. (IGI) announcing the joint venture agreement with Berlex. "The agreement provides Berlex with exclusive worldwide rights to OB/GYN and diagnostic imaging applications, enabling the entire worldwide organization of Berlex' parent company [West German firm Schering AG] to avail itself of the IGI liposome technology," IGI stated. The announcement marks the third joint venture for IGI. Last month, the company signed an agreement with Rorer covering a long-acting, liposome formulation of the OTC antacid product Maalox ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 17, T&G-1). Earlier, IGI completed a deal with U.K.-based Coopers Animal Health. The most recent agreement involves two majority-owned IGI subsidiaries, Molecular Packaging Systems (MPS) and Microvesicular Systems, which developed the firm's Micro-Pak liposome encapsulation technology. "Berlex will shortly be introducing the first magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent which may be a likely candidate for the IGI liposome technology," the release states. Primarily a manufacturer and marketer of animal health care products, Vineland, New Jersey-based IGI earned $720,435 in 1986 on sales of $18.4 mil. Through MPS, the company has developed a technology for the liposomal encapsulation of pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, proteins, viruses and biological agents such as interferon, insulin and hemoglobin. In March 1987, IGI filed a patent on its liposome process.

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