Mubadala Development, an investment and development corporation wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), has signed a contract with Siemens Medical Solutions to build and operate a specialist Molecular Imaging Center (MIC) in Abu Dhabi to include the Siemens PET CT (Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography) diagnostic system and the Cyclotron radioisotope delivery system.
The contract was signed by Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Chief Operating Officer, for Mubadala and Peter Fuchs, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens LLC. Also attending the signing ceremony was Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and Her Highness Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, UAE’s Minister for Economy.
The USD 21.7 million three-phased contract entails designing, building, and operation and maintenance of the MIC. Scheduled to open during the second half of 2008, the facility will be the first of its kind in the region.
The first phase already began in 2006 and saw Siemens setting up a team of experts who have been working closely with Mubadala to design what will be a unique facility with the very latest and innovative molecular imaging diagnostic technology. The contract signing marks the move into the second phase of the project, when the building of the MIC will commence. A five-year facility management and operation contract is expected to be signed following completion of the facility construction.
The MIC will also be the first in this region to feature a Cyclotron, Siemens’ particle accelerator that produces high yields of reliable radioisotope biomarkers. These are essential for accurate PET diagnosis. In addition to supplying Mubadala’s Molecular Imaging Center, the plan is to enable other diagnostic facilities in the vicinity to also have access to this important technology.
As well as the clinical provisions, the company’s standard operating system and user interface Syngo will allow seamless data sharing across all parts of the MIC and with other clinics worldwide.
The center will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical diagnostic equipment for anatomic and functional diagnosis.
"We are excited to begin this cooperation with Siemens, a widely respected brand name in the global healthcare solutions marketplace. Together, we will provide the healthcare sector in the region with sophisticated and unparalleled molecular imaging and diagnostic services, leveraging on the world-class facilities offered by the center, “said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi of Mubadala Development.
PET CT is a nuclear medicine procedure that produces pictures of the body’s metabolic functions. Its capability in early detection of cancer, cardio-vascular and neurological diseases can save time and healthcare costs, therefore improving the patient experience and increasing chances of survival.
The PET CT images help physicians select more effective therapies and improve patient care, while ultimately helping to save lives. The scan allows physicians to view metabolic activity and pinpoint where abnormal lesions are located so that they may target the diseases. The molecular imaging centre will mainly provide diagnostic services for oncology, cardiology and neurology.
PET Molecular Imaging, is one of the fastest growing areas of imaging for both research and clinical applications. The Siemens PET CT diagnostic system is the first solution to combine true volumetric CT with true volumetric PET. Together, they allow the tiniest lesions to be detected at what is currently the industry’s highest spatial resolution.
Images from the PET CT scanner can be acquired twice as fast as with a traditional PET CT scan with no loss in the quality of the image. More importantly, the patients will experience increased comfort as diagnosis can be made with half the usual CT dosage.
Surpassing bids from competitors, Peter Fuchs, CEO of Siemens LLC, believes the reason Siemens was selected for the project is due to the company’s extensive portfolio: “With a comprehensive facility such as the MIC, a diverse range of solutions are required. Siemens demonstrated an attractive proposition because as a key healthcare infrastructure provider, we presented a holistic approach to cater for multiple aspects of Mubadala’s project seamlessly,” he said.
“Siemens is a pioneer in the development of new imaging techniques and applications,” explained Fuchs. “Our portfolio of solutions includes the most sophisticated clinical imaging, as well as preclinical and biomarker solutions that will affect every stage of patient care; from prevention to diagnosis, therapy and follow-up.
“We have already developed similar facilities in the US, UK, Germany and Hungary. So we’ll be bringing in our expertise and experience of building such facilities to the MIC here. The new imaging center in Abu Dhabi will mean that this cutting-edge diagnostic technology is now available to patients in this region.”
The MIC in Abu Dhabi will be equipped with these latest technologies.
Mubadala Development is a Public Joint Stock company established and wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its mission is to invest in commercially-viable, strategic, industrial and commercial partnerships.
The company manages a diversified portfolio of local, regional, and international investments. International investments include the Dutch fleet management giant LeasePlan Corporation (25% stake), and a stake in nine oil exploration blocks in Libya. Stakes are also held in the Swiss aircraft and engine services provider SR Technics (40%), the Italian luxury car manufacturer Ferrari (5%), and Piaggio Aero Industries (35%).
In the United Arab Emirates and wider Gulf region, Mubadala Development has invested in, and developed, a number of leading projects including the first GCC cross-border natural gas project, Dolphin Energy (51% majority stake), Aldar Properties, National Central Cooling Company, Abu Dhabi Ship Building, Imperial College London Diabetes Center in Abu Dhabi, Injazat Data Systems, and the Mukhaizna Oil Field developments in Oman.
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