Philips, ROSATOM ink nuclear medicine MOU

Royal Philips has signed a memorandum of understanding with ROSATOM to develop a nuclear medicine industry in Russia.

Under the MOU, ROSATOM and Philips will manufacture three imaging modalities in Russia: single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), SPECT/with X-ray computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography/CT. It marks the first time that an international manufacturer of nuclear medicine equipment has declared an intention to grant a local partner a license for SPECT/CT equipment production in Russia. Roughly 81 percent of all Russia's medical equipment is produced outside that country, according to the Philips' statement.

Nuclear medicine is important in diagnosing and staging cancer, and with the disease becoming increasingly common in Russia, this partnership is important for better healthcare in that country. "The early diagnosis of cancer is extremely important as cancer is now the number-two cause of mortality in Russia," said Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Healthcare, in a statement. "Positron Emission Tomography is the most sensitive molecular imaging technique and has the potential to visualize cancer in a very early stage, even before structural changes can be seen on CT and MRI images. Its use in Russia, enabled by the Philips-Rosatom partnership, will help to significantly reduce public funding for costly cancer treatment."

A Philips spokesman declined to further discuss the financial impact with Dow Jones.

ROSATOM incorporates more than 250 enterprises and scientific institutions, including all civil nuclear companies of Russia, nuclear weapons complex's facilities, research organizations and the world's only nuclear-propelled fleet, according to its website.

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