Piramal Healthcare buys Bayer's molecular imaging and research portfolio

Ajay Piramal Piramal Healthcare Ltd has acquired global rights to the molecular imaging development and research portfolio of Germany's Bayer Pharma AG. The acquisition was carried out through a newly created subsidiary, Piramal Imaging SA, the company said in a release today.

Bayer Pharma AG's molecular imaging research and development portfolio acquired by Piramal Healthcare includes a potential drug compound for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.

The compound, a late-stage florbetaben, when injected intravenously, crosses the blood–brain barrier to detect beta-amyloid plaque deposition in the brain – an indication of probable Alzheimer's disease.

Detection of beta-amyloid depositions is expected to result in early diagnosis and more specific treatment of Alzheimer's disease, the company said.

Florbetaben, which is in Phase III clinical trials, has shown that PET imaging with the compound reliably detects beta-amyloid in the brain with accuracy and so could be a potential tool to aid the diagnosis and assessment of Alzheimer's disease, the company said.

Ajay Piramal, chairman of the Piramal Group, said the acquisition was the second of late stage assets after a similar transaction of BioSyntech assets in 2011.