GE Healthcare and PhotoCure ASA recently announced a licensing agreement that grants GE exclusive global rights outside of the U.S. and the Nordic region to market and distribute PhotoCure's product Hexvix (hexaminolevulinate), an optical molecular imaging agent intended for the diagnosis and monitoring of bladder cancer. As part of the deal, PhotoCure will be responsible for manufacturing and Nordic distribution of the product. The agreement includes an exclusive option for GE Healthcare to market and distribute the product in the U.S., according to the companies.
Hexvix has received approval for the diagnosis of bladder cancer in a large number of European countries through the European mutual recognition procedure with more expected in the near future. This product is not currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Optical imaging is an imaging modality with the potential to provide new applications in the prevention and treatment of bladder cancer as well as other diseases. Optical imaging uses light to illuminate superficial tissue - such as bladder tissue. By combining this technology with an optical molecular imaging agent, tumors might be targeted more accurately. Optical imaging may enhance the diagnostic abilities of urologists and allow for improved patient care.