Bracco Imaging Group: Decades of Providing Quality Diagnostic Imaging Solutions



Bracco Imaging Group

Bracco Imaging Group: Ceriano Laghetto Plant in Italy. Image source: imaging.bracco.com

Bracco Imaging Group: Decades of Providing Quality Diagnostic Imaging Solutions

Bracco Imaging Group was founded in 1927, and has grown into a multinational company with operations in 90 countries of the world.

The Group is a provider of diagnostic imaging solutions to the global market, with a mission to discover, develop, manufacture, and market imaging agents and solutions that provide quality solutions as it relates to efficiency in diagnostic procedures, safety of patients, and affordability.

Over the years, the company has extended its product range through a combination of innovation and acquisition of a number of businesses, including ProHance® (gadoteridol) injection, MultiHance® (gadobenate dimeglumine) injection, 279.3 mg/mL, and 529 mg/mL, which have enabled Bracco to enter the Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) business.

It fortified its X-Ray/ Computed Tomography (CT) business and leadership with the acquisition of Isovue® (iopamidol injection).

It entered the Nuclear Medicine market and has taken a top position in the increasingly popular niches, such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Hepatobiliary Imaging, and Cardiology.

In 2008, the company’s portfolio got a boost with the acquisition of E-Z-EM, Inc., a leading manufacturer of contrast media and medical products for gastrointestinal (GI) radiology.

The company has continued to commit enormous resources and efforts to the creation and development of new and innovative products and to providing effective solutions to medical needs.

Bracco bought Swiss Medical Care (SMC) in 2011, and therefore acquired CT Exprès, which added to strengthening its range of automated system products used in administering contrast media.

Other products that were added to Bracco’s product portfolio include EmpowerMR®, EmpowerCTA®, and Nexo.
A year later, precisely on the 17th of December, 2012, the name Swiss Medical Care was changed to Bracco Injeneering S.A., a name that captures a company completely devoted to research and development of the best possible innovative integrated injection solutions.

Bracco Injeneering, which became the new Business Unit of Bracco Imaging presents excellent solutions for modern radiology centers with its injection technology that has been tested and proven.

The company has remained committed to the pursuit of innovative product development in the medical device, data management, and software development sectors.

How Bracco Imaging Group Organizes Its Operation

For efficiency, Bracco Imaging Group has its business organized in such a way that the production, manufacturing, and packaging arms for its products are separated and carried out at different locations.

Its Ceriano Laghetto site in the province of Monza and Brianza, Italy, focuses on the creation of active pharmaceutical materials that are used in producing contrast agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and X-ray/CT procedures.

The company’s plant at Torviscosa, in the province of Udine, Spin, specializes in the production of API used in X-ray contrast media.

The Bracco Imaging Pharmaceutical Sterile Operations, BIPSO, is situated in Singen in Germany, and is focused on producing sterile pharmaceuticals products.

In Switzerland, precisely located in Geneva, is Bracco Suisse SA, which operates research laboratories and a production plant for the development and production of contrast agents for ultrasound procedures.

Also, a plant that focuses on producing contrast media used in Oral Imaging is located in Montreal Canada.

A sterile manufacturing factory is located at TO, Italy. The plant, Colleretto Giacosa, specializes in manufacturing of contrast agents used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging procedures in pre-filled syringes.

It also has chemical support laboratories together with research laboratories.

The Group also has the Bracco Sine manufacturing plant in Pudong, Shanghai in China. It’s a sterile production plant that focuses on meeting the needs of the Chinese market, majoring in producing non-ionic contrast media for use in X-ray.

In Saitama, Japan, is the Bracco Eisai industrial plant that produces mainly non-ionic contrast media for MRI and X-ray for the Japanese market.

Bracco Diagnostics Inc.

Serving the U.S. and the Canadian markets, Bracco Diagnostics Inc. is the American subsidiary of Bracco Imaging.

The company specializes in developing and marketing imaging agents for Nuclear Medicine, X-ray/CT, and MRI procedures in the United States of America, and in Canada.

Bracco Diagnostics is located in Monroe Township, New Jersey with its leading products taking a sizable share of the U.S. market for diagnostic contrast media. The company also develops and market contrast agents for the ultrasound sector.

Posted on October 18, 2014

FDA Approves Bracco Diagnostics’ Lumason as New Ultrasound Imaging Agent



FDA Approves Bracco Diagnostics’ Lumason as New Ultrasound Imaging Agent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, has approved Lumason, a brand of sulfur hexafluoride lipid microsphere produced by Bracco Diagnostics Inc., for use by patients whose echocardiograms (ultrasound image of the heart) is difficult to view with ultrasound waves.

FDA Approves Bracco Diagnostics’ Lumason as New Ultrasound Imaging Agent

Patient having an ultrasound scan. Image source: www3.gehealthcare.com.au

Lumason, a contrast agent, is composed of gas-filled microbubbles, also called microspheres. The action of the gas-filled microbubbles is to reflect the sound waves in such a way as to significantly improve the image.

Lumason therefore enables clearer images to be produced of the left ventricle chamber, the inside of the heart chambers, including the endocardium, which is the smooth edge of the chambers.

This enables physicians to be able to have a clearer view of patients’ hearts and consequently be able to treat the patient more effectively.

The FDA has confirmed Lumason to be safe and effective for human use from three clinical trials that were carried out using 191 patients with heart problem, and whose echocardiograms were hard to read and interpret by doctors.

Having used 2 milliliter dose of Lumason, the imaging for the majority of the patients were significantly clearer in all three studies and the doctors were then able to view the lining of the left ventricle clearer.

Lumason shows headache and nausea as commonly reported side effects. However, like other microbubble contrast agents, Lumason displays a boxed warning of the risk that could be associated with its use, which may include acute cardiopulmonary reactions, such as a grave cardiac arrest.

Patients with some kinds of heart conditions are more predisposed to these risks, with most serious reactions occurring about 30 minutes after it is administered.

Bracco Diagnostics Inc., the company that makes Lumason is a subsidiary of Bracco Imaging SpA. Bracco Imaging is a global diagnostic imaging business with presence in over 90 countries.

Bracco Diagnostics Inc. specializes in developing and marketing of imaging agents whose use can be applied in x-ray/CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound in the U.S. and Canada. Its headquarters is in Township, NJ.

Posted on October 14, 2014

Ultrasound Scan Reveals Kate Middleton is Pregnant with Twins



Ultrasound scan reveals Kate Middleton pregnant with twins

Kate Middleton and Husband, Prince William with their first child, Prince George. Image source: www.ibtimes.co.uk

Ultrasound Scan Reveals Kate Middleton is Pregnant with Twins

A recent ultrasound procedure shows the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who is expecting her second child with Prince William, is actually carrying a set of twins who are girls.

Reported in the Star Magazine, the couple were highly excited about the discovering when Kate had an ultrasound scan and they saw the two tiny babies on the screen.

It was further reported that out of excitement, William immediately put a call to his father to break the good news to him.

The couples were married in April 2011 and had their first child, Prince George on July 22, 2013.

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound refers to high-frequency sound humans can’t hear, but with special machines it can be emitted and detected.

Ultrasound is capable of moving freely through soft tissues and fluid, but is reflected when it comes in contact with denser or more solid surfaces.

For instance, it travels freely through blood in the heart chamber, but when it comes in contact with a solid valve, much of it is reflected back or echoed.

The strength of the echo that is sent back when ultrasound hits a surface will depend on the density of the body it hits.

Ultrasound Scan

The concept of ultrasound is useful in making a scan. The scan, also known as sonogram, ultrasonography, diagnostic sonography, or obstetric sonography, depending on what it is used for, works by a high frequency sound waves creating an image of certain inner parts of the body, including stomach, heart, liver, tendons, blood vessels, joints, muscles, and womb.

The image can be read and interpreted by physicians to help them detect and treat problems that may be present in those parts of the body.

Ultrasound scan may also be employed by surgeons in carrying out some forms of biopsies.

Ultrasound scans are quite a safe procedure as they use sound waves and not the potentially harmful radiation.

Going for an Ultrasound Scan Procedure, What to Expect

When you go for an ultrasound procedure, this is what to expect:

You will be asked to lie on a couch, and an operator would put some lubricating jelly on the surface of your skin around the area that is to be examined.

Then he/she would place a probe on that area of your skin over the part of your body that is to be examined.
The probe looks somewhat like a thick blunt pen.

The lubricating jelly applied on the skin is to ensure that the probe makes a good contact with the body.

Through a wire, the probe is connected to the ultrasound machine, which is also connected to a monitor.

The probe sends pulses of ultrasound into the body through the skin; the ultrasound waves get reflected or echoed, as they hit denser inner body parts.

Also, the probe detects the echoes and sends them down through the wire to the machine, which processes the information and displays the image on the monitor screen, revealing what’s going on in that inner part of the body.

Views from different angles can be seen by the operator moving the probe around and over the skin’s surface.

Ultrasound scan does not give any pain on the patient taking it, and it only takes about 15 to 45 minutes to complete, depending on the part of the body that is being examined.

The result of the test can be provided to the patient or client either in a printable picture format or as a recorded video.

Why Should a Pregnant Woman go for Ultrasound Scan?

Why a pregnant woman should go for ultrasound scan

Pregnant woman having ultrasound scan, and partner. Image source: parade.condenast.com

Ultrasound scan is beneficial to a pregnant woman in a number of ways. It helps the doctor to be sure that there is no problem with the placenta, and that the uterus is fine and the baby is growing well.

It will show if you are having more than one baby so you can prepare for twins or whatever number of fetus growing in your womb.

It can also determine the age of the fetus, which is also called the gestation age, from which the birth due date can also be known.

Having an ultrasound scan is important to every expectant mother and the doctors would normally recommend one from 18-20 weeks of pregnancy.

During the later periods of pregnancy, the doctor would want to confirm the health status of the growing baby by recommending an ultrasound scan to check the position of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, the baby’s position, and its expected weight.

The mother or parents, as the case may be, can also ask the operator or attendant to disclose the sex of the baby(ies) if they are interested in knowing their baby’s gender. Ultrasound scan can reveal it; however, it is not all the time that they get the interpretation correct.

Sometimes, you might be told your baby is a boy, while she turns out to be a girl, or that it’s a girl and he comes out to be a boy.

Whether boy or girl, ultrasound scan procedures, which are totally safe, without any side effect, play a huge part in the successful management of pregnancy to delivering.

Posted on October 13, 2014