GE HealthCare sees 'profound' growth opportunity for PET imaging

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | July 31, 2023
Business Affairs Molecular Imaging
GE HealthCare expects to see positive sales growth in 2023 for PET imaging scanners and molecular imaging equipment.
Coming off a double-digit rise in quarterly earnings, GE HealthCare says it expects to see further growth in medical imaging sales around its PET and molecular imaging scanners following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposal to loosen coverage restrictions for brain scans used in Alzheimer’s detection.

The FDA’s recent approval of Leqembi (lecanemab), a monoclonal antibody that targets and helps destroy the hallmark beta-amyloid protein for Alzheimer's led CMS to announce in July that it would consider ending the once-per-lifetime limit on beta-amyloid PET scans. Under this limit, the agency only covers one scan per patient in their lifetime, and they must be enrolled in a clinical trial.

Lequembi requires periodic brain scans to assess for potential side effects, as do other new drugs that have shown potential in slowing down the disease's cognitive and functional decline.
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"With the recent development of treatments directed against amyloid, the PET scan would help to confirm the presence of brain amyloid, to alter the course of treatment for the patient and to demonstrate treatment results. In addition, the PET AB can be used to better select patients for AD trials such as anti-amyloid treatment trials," said CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a statement.

In a post-earnings call, GE HealthCare CEO Peter Arduini called this a “profound growth opportunity” for all providers offering PET scans and molecular imaging.

Second-quarter sales for the company’s imaging segment soared almost 11%, beating out quarterly earning estimates. Other companies also saw rises in sales, with growth attributed to greater demands for healthcare services that drove capital-intensive equipment sales as patients received care and underwent procedures they put off during the pandemic, reported Reuters.

Additionally, GE HealthCare reported greater availability of electronic components, allowing it to increase production and prices for equipment.

The company’s total quarterly sales amounted to $4.8 billion, with MR scanners making up over half of its sales. Its ultrasound solutions also raked in $839 million, and its molecular imaging and CT scanners were also strong revenue sources.

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