Organ-Specific MRI Contrast Agent Utilized to Diagnose Status of Country’s Large Hepatoma Population

BEIJING – Feb. 23, 2001 – Pharmagenesis, Inc. has received approval from the Chinese State Drug Administration (SDA) to market and sell Feridex, an organ-specific magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent that allows for the early detection of liver lesions, in China.

Approximately 240 million people in China are carriers of the hepatitis B virus, which is a leading cause of hepatoma, one of the top 10 cancers in China.  Ten percent of carriers are likely to develop the disease.

Pharmagenesis has begun providing the drug, developed by Advanced Magnetics Inc. (AMI), to Chinese government-sponsored oncology and teaching hospitals, including the renowned Beijing Tumor Hospital, the Shanghai Tumor Hospital and the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, one of the major teaching institutions in China.  Feridex allows for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver diseases including hepatoma.

“We are encouraged by the wide acceptance of Feridex by oncology doctors in China,” Nicolas Druz, CEO and chairman of the board, Pharmagenesis, said.  “The launch of Feridex is an excellent preparation for our plans to import more oncology-related Western drugs to China.” 

Pharmagenesis received an exclusive license from AMI for the distribution of Feridex to China and Taiwan in 1996.

About Advanced Magnetics Inc.

Advanced Magnetics Inc. is a medical specialty company dedicated to the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products for the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. For more information, please visit the Company’s web site at

About Pharmagenesis, Inc.

Pharmagenesis, Inc. develops anticancer therapies and treatments for cancer therapy-related bone-marrow suppression and for the management of transplant rejection.  The privately held company focuses on developing ethical pharmaceuticals from purified extracts of plants that have been employed in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years.  Efficacy is validated by clinical trials conforming to standards of appropriate government regulatory agencies.  Pharmaceuticals developed and/or licensed by the company are being commercialized initially in the high-growth markets of China and Taiwan.

Pharmagenesis has its corporate headquarters and R & D facility, employing cutting-edge Western medical research techniques, in Palo Alto, Calif.  Pharmagenesis also has operations in Beijing and Taipei.


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