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SA molecular imaging expansion through new joint venture for radiopharmacy sites

Life Healthcare Group, a leading global healthcare organisation and South African hospital group, and the AXIM Group of Companies, Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading medical equipment, device and consumable distributor, have signed a heads of terms agreement to form a joint venture (“JV”) to establish a cyclotron based radiopharmacy business across South and Southern Africa.

Patients and physicians have a clinical expectation that nuclear medicine imaging, also known as molecular imaging, when used for diagnostic purposes, will significantly improve the timeliness as well as the accuracy of detecting the presence and extent of disease.

“We are delighted to be working with AXIM on this fantastic opportunity to enhance the provision of molecular imaging in South Africa that ultimately will benefit physicians and patients. We will be bringing our experience of running Cyclotron Radiopharmacies within Europe to the country through our international operation, Alliance Medical and this complements both the provision and expansion of our Oncology services locally.”

“This is great news for patients in South Africa as the advancement of imaging technology and integrated systems in diagnostics enables clinicians to diagnose diseases such as cancer much earlier and more accurately,” said Peter Wharton-Hood, Life Healthcare’s Group Chief Executive.

The JV’s first planned radiopharmacy site established in the Gauteng province of South Africa will include two cyclotrons (nuclear medicine machines that produce protons for nuclear research or radiation treatment).
It is envisaged that following the establishment of the first cyclotron-based radio-pharmacy in Gauteng, at least two additional cyclotrons with radio-pharmacies will be created in other large conurbations in South Africa, with the locations to be decided and agreed upon by the parties. Depending on market conditions, further cyclotron radio-pharmacies may be created in one or more neighbouring countries.

“This pioneering JV will support South Africa’s nuclear medicine community and paves the way for providing future opportunities for our Group across the region,” said Peter Goldberg, Chairman of the AXIM Group. “Partnering with Life Healthcare presents an exciting opportunity to bring together our unique strengths and scalable capabilities to co-develop new sites and provide our customers with reliable and consistent supply of FDG and other isotopes.”

The AXIM Group and Life Healthcare anticipate the JV agreement will be finalised during the fourth quarter of 2021.Each party will co-own equal equity interest in the joint venture.

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