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Indian Pharma MNC Piramal Investing in German Molecular Imaging Technology

BERLIN, August 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Innovative medical research in Germany

In April 2012, Indian MNC Piramal took over Bayer HealthCare's molecular-imaging pipeline and has since then been continuing research and development work on the acquired PET radiopharmaceuticals in its labs in Berlin. Speaking at a press conference Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Group commented on the strategy saying, "Molecular imaging is one of the key technologies paving the way to individualized medicine. Our acquisition of a powerful pipeline in this field hence, is an important milestone on the road to an innovative pharmaceutical portfolio for us."


Florbetaben, Piramal's most advanced PET tracer, enables the detection of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain and could therefore open the door to the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. "A phase III study to test the reliability of florbetaben in the histopathological detection of beta-amyloid has been successfully completed. Submission of the dossier for drug approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected later in 2012. In addition, Piramal Imaging is working on other PET tracers for various medical indications," said Dr. Swati Piramal, Vice-Chairperson of Piramal Enterprises

According to Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Permanent Secretary at the Berlin Senate's Department of Economics, Technology and Research, Piramal Imaging's decision to come to Berlin is a real gain for the city as a business location, underlining its reputation as a center of knowledge-based economy. "Piramal has made a good choice with Berlin. The healthcare industry in the capital region is highly innovative and offers above-average growth potential. The density of the scientific and research institutions here is unique throughout Europe. Our policy aims to create intense links between business, research and science."

"The field of molecular imaging is made attractive by the availability of excellent technical equipment and the vicinity of renowned academic institutions, such as Charité University Hospital and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. This is a good environment for interdisciplinary exchange between academia and industry," confirms Professor Günter Stock, President of the Berlin-BrandenburgAcademy of Sciences and spokesperson of the network HealthCapital Berlin-Brandenburg. Researching novel agents to improve medical diagnostics has been a long tradition in Berlin. This is where the first commercially available X-ray contrast agent was developed - as early as 1931. Then in the late 1980s Berlin researchers developed the first contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), revolutionizing medical imaging.

Note to the editors:

About florbetaben

Florbetaben is an 18F-labeled tracer for use in positron emission tomography (PET), which specifically binds to beta-amyloid deposits in the brain, a key pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Florbetaben may in future contribute to the early detection of Alzheimer's disease and facilitate specific treatment. A Phase III trial previously presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology showed that PET imaging with florbetaben reliably detects beta-amyloid with great accuracy in the brains of living patients. The visual assessment procedure proposed for routine clinical practice demonstrated 100% sensitivity and 92% specificity.

About Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which mostly affects people over the age of 60 and is the most common cause of dementia. In 2009 estimates suggested that more than 36 million people worldwide were suffering from Alzheimer's. By 2050 this number could reach more than 115 million. At present there is no cure for the disease, but treatments for symptoms, combined with the right services and support, can improve the quality of life for the millions of people living with Alzheimer's.

About the Piramal Group

The Piramal Group, led by Ajay G. Piramal is one of India's foremost business conglomerates. Driven by the core values of Knowledge Action Care, the Piramal Group has interests in a myriad of industries that encompass healthcare, drug discovery & research, diagnostics, glass, real estate and financial services. The Piramal Group steadfastly pursues inclusive growth while adhering to ethical and value driven practices. The Group's turnover exceeded $ 900 million in FY2011.

About Piramal Enterprises Ltd.

Piramal Enterprises is one of India's largest diversified companies, with a presence in pharmaceutical, financial services and information management sectors. Piramal Enterprises had consolidated revenues of $ 450 million in FY2012. In the pharmaceutical space, PEL is one of leading custom manufacturing player globally, has presence in the global critical care segment with a portfolio of inhalation and injectable anesthetics and its OTC business is ranked no. 7 in India. PEL is also engaged in drug discovery & research and has strong pipeline of development products. In the financial services space, PEL has a real estate focused PE fund - Indiareit and a NBFC that is focused on lending to real estate and education sector. Recently, PEL has also entered the global information management industry through acquisition of a US based company ‒ Decision Resources Group.

About Piramal Imaging GmbH

Piramal Imaging GmbH is a 100% daughter of Piramal SA and was recently created through the acquisition of worldwide rights for a molecular imaging research and development portfolio of Bayer AG by Piramal Enterprises. The portfolio includes the rights to florbetaben, a highly specialized molecule used in PET imaging to detect beta-amyloid in the brain, a widely recognized marker for Alzheimer's disease. Only recently, florbetaben has successfully completed a phase III clinical trials. By developing novel PET tracers for molecular imaging, Piramal is focusing on a key future field of modern medicine.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Akansha Pradhan/ Riddhi Goradia
Corporate Communications
Piramal Group
Contact: +91-22-33514082

Dr. Ludger Dinkelborg
Managing Director
Piramal Imaging GmbH
Tel: +49-30-461-1246-01
Fax: +49-30-461-124-629

SOURCE Piramal Group
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