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BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY ANNOUNCES IN-LICENSING AGREEMENT FOR GASTROINTESTINAL CONTRAST AGENT FOR MRI DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES

 PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that it has acquired the worldwide rights to manufacture and market a new orally administered gastrointestinal contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnostic procedures.
 LumenHance(R) (manganese chloride) was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company through an in-licensing agreement with ImaRx Pharmaceutical Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., which discovered the product.
 LumenHance is one of two diagnostic products licensed from ImaRx for development by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has also acquired the rights to SonoRx(R) (simethicone coated cellulose), an oral ultrasound contrast agent discovered by ImaRx.
 LumenHance (manganese chloride), an orally administered bowel- marking substance, may be used for MRI of the abdomen and pelvis. LumenHance will cause the bowel lumen to appear either dark or bright on MR images, depending on the imaging technique used. LumenHance is intended to help radiologists distinguish the bowel from other organs of the abdomen and pelvis (such as the pancreas, spleen and liver) and from intra-abdominal masses, tumors, ulcers, lymph nodes, cysts and abscesses.
 Administered just prior to an MRI examination, this contrast agent offers unique dual-contrast capability, and should provide optimal delineation of the bowel from adjacent pathology in a variety of MRI techniques.
 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for LumenHance in December 1992. Clinical trials are in progress and are expected to be completed soon. Following approval by the Food & Drug Administration, LumenHance will be manufactured at a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company facility in Evansville, Ind.
 "We believe that LumenHance(R) (manganese chloride) will satisfy a currently unmet clinical need for a palatable and safe oral gastrointestinal MRI agent with unique imaging characteristics," said Dr. Brian Gallagher, vice president and general manager of Squibb Diagnostics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb company.
 According to Dr. Evan Unger, president and chief executive officer of ImaRx Pharmaceutical Corp., "We chose to license LumenHance(R) (manganese chloride) to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company primarily because of the Company's worldwide presence and leadership position." Squibb Diagnostics also markets contrast agents such as Isovue(R) (iopamidol injection) and ProHance(R) (Gadoteridol Injection).
 The worldwide market for contrast-enhancing MRI agents is estimated at more than $200 million annually, including more than $150 million in the United States. Squibb Diagnostics believes that the application of contrast-enhancing agents in MRI can be justified by the benefits of providing more accurate diagnoses that lead to better and more cost- effective medical treatment. Said Dr. Gallagher, "When applied appropriately, MRI can be a cost-effective procedure useful for clearly detecting and staging disease."
 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is a research-based, diversified healthcare company whose principal businesses are pharmaceuticals, consumer products, nutritionals and medical devices. It is among the world's leading makers of cardiovascular, anti-cancer, anti-infective, central nervous system and dermatological drug therapies, diagnostic agents and non-prescription medicines.
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 /CONTACT: Patrick D. Donohue of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, 609-252-5685/
 (BMY)


CO: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; ImaRx Pharmaceutical Corp. ST: New Jersey, Arizona, Indiana IN: MTC SU: LIC

MP -- PH006R -- 8231 11/29/93 11:19 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 29, 1993
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