Business, diagnostic imaging  

Siemens wins contract to build first molecular imaging centre in the UAE

23 April 2007

Mubadala Development has awarded Siemens Medical Solutions a 16.7 million contract to build and operate a molecular imaging centre (MIC) in Abu Dhabi. Expected to open in summer 2008, the facility will be the first of its kind in the region. It will provide diagnostic services for oncology, cardiology and neurology.

The contract was signed in the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, Minister for Economy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mubadala Development is a public company owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and manages a wide range of industrial projects in the Emirate and the Gulf region.

The centre will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical diagnostic equipment for anatomic and functional diagnosis. These include a Siemens PET/CT (a hybrid combining Positron Emission Tomography, PET and Computed Tomography, CT) diagnostic system and a Cyclotron radioisotope delivery system. A comprehensive IT infrastructure powered by the syngo software, developed by Siemens, will allow for data and image integration and exchange across all parts of the MIC and with other clinics worldwide.

"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 centre“, said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi of Mubadala Development.

The PET/CT diagnostic imaging system combines the superiorities of CT and PET technologies in one system. The results are the acquisition of anatomical and biological information in a single examination. The images obtained visualise anatomical and functional processes of the human body at the molecular level. The hybrid of PET and CT allows for the tiniest lesions to be detected at what is currently the industry’s highest spatial resolution.

"Molecular medicine has huge potential to enable detection of diseases at a much earlier stage. Molecular imaging techniques in combination with specific biomarkers are helping physicians to choose suitable medications for a particular patient, predict and monitor the effects of those medications and personalise patients' treatments — hence contributing to a more efficient and higher quality treatment of common maladies like cancer, cardiovascular diseases or neurological degenerations", said Erich R. Reinhardt, member of the board of Siemens AG and CEO of Siemens Medical Solutions.

"The long-term vision is to identify and treat the molecular causes of diseases long before the patient ever experiences any symptoms and Siemens is at the forefront of developing these molecular medicine solutions that will transform the future of healthcare.”

First cyclotron in the region

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 Centre, the Cyclotron also enables other PET diagnostic facilities in the vicinity to have access to these biomarkers.

The first project phase in 2006 saw Siemens setting up a team of experts who have been working closely with Mubadala to conceptualise and design what will be a unique facility with the very latest in 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.

Dr. Volker Wetekam, head of Global Solutions at Siemens Medical Solutions, said: “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.”

Besides Siemens Medical Solutions, other divisions of Siemens are involved in the civil works and building infrastructure of the MIC, including Siemens’ Industrial Solutions and Services group (I&S) and Siemens Building Technologies (SBT).

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