The market for imaging agents is a sector within the diagnostic imaging industry which encompasses not only contrast agents and products for nuclear medicine, but also diagnostic equipment, medical devices and related software.
Medical imaging agents are generally pharmaceuticals used to allow diagnosis and monitoring of diseases with different modalities:
Iodinated and Barium compounds used in Radiography and Computed Tomography (CT) or X-Ray/CT contrast agents;
Products mostly based on Gadolinium linked to a variety of molecules and used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents;
Products based on gas and microbubbles, used in diagnostic ultrasonography (US) contrast agents;
Radioactive compounds used with radiation detection probes (diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals), in some cases together with medical devices or products used to stimulate body organ functions.
Medical imaging agents are considered medicinal products by the regulatory authorities and are therefore subject to strict regulatory requirements, equivalent to therapeutic drugs.
In addition to Bracco Imaging, there are five other main players in the imaging agents market, with sales in key imaging modalities and areas.
This market has experienced a limited penetration of generic manufacturers, with few additional players either at a local level or in single modalities.