First Imaging Agent Approved for Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) in the U.S.

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 22, 2008--EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for marketing its novel blood pool magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) agent, Vasovist(R) (gadofosveset trisodium), to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease. AIOD occurs when iliac arteries become narrowed or blocked and may prevent the sufficient transport of oxygen and/or blood throughout the body.

Vasovist is the first contrast agent approved for marketing in the United States for use with MRA, a non-invasive modality for imaging blood vessels. In 2007, there were approximately 1.3 million MRA procedures performed in the United States using contrast agents not specifically approved for this procedure. MRA is a less invasive procedure than x-ray angiography, allowing for reduced patient discomfort and recuperation time and unlike x-ray angiography, MRA does not expose patients to ionizing radiation. Vasovist had previously been approved for marketing in 34 countries outside the United States based on data from four multi-center, Phase 3 clinical trials that showed that Vasovist's overall accuracy was similar to that of catheter-based x-ray angiography, as determined by blinded readings.

source: Epix Pharmaceuticals

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