Guerbet phases out 2 contrast agents

French contrast developer Guerbet is phasing out worldwide sales of its Optimark (gadoversetamide) MRI contrast agent and Hexabrix (meglumine and sodium ioxaglate) x-ray contrast agent.

Guerbet said it's streamlining its brand portfolio following the acquisition of Mallinckrodt's Contrast Media and Delivery Systems business. The decision to discontinue Optimark is consistent with the recent recommendations from the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency favoring the use of macrocyclic gadolinium agents, according to the company.

Optimark and Guerbet's Dotarem (gadoteric acid) are both gadolinium-based contrast agents and have similar indications for MRI. However, Optimark is a linear agent and faces decreasing worldwide demand, while Dotarem, a macrocyclic and ionic agent, has experienced growing demand, Guerbet said.

Sales of Optimark will cease on 26 July in European Union (EU) countries. The firm said it will then progressively phase out Optimark in other geographic areas until the end of 2019.

Guerbet said it will also progressively end sales of Hexabrix in Europe, Asia, and Latin America by the end of 2019 at the latest. The iodinated x-ray contrast agent has the same indications as two other Guerbet agents, Optiray (ioversol) and Xenetix (iobitridol), according to the company.

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