The company will develop and commercialise the Zionexa biomarkers and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent, Cerianna (fluoroestradiol F-18).

Cerianna is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use as an adjunct to biopsy for identifying estrogen receptor (ER) positive lesions. It can aid in choosing the best therapies for recurrent or metastatic breast cancer patients.

ER expression is a breast cancer biomarker that can differ both within the primary tumour and across various lesions.

GE Healthcare pharmaceutical diagnostics president and CEO Kevin O’Neill said: “Like GE Healthcare, Zionexa’s products are aimed at enabling more precise diagnosis, improved treatment decision-making and ultimately better clinical outcomes for patients.

“This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to enabling precision health and providing innovations that support oncologists, nuclear medicine specialists and other physicians throughout a cancer patient’s journey, from initial screening and diagnosis to informing therapy selection and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.”

By 2023, the pharmaceutical diagnostics business intends to make Cerianna available for 75% of patients with metastatic breast cancer, using its molecular imaging supply chain, R&D, medical affairs, market access, regulatory, quality and commercial expertise.

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Zionexa’s 24 employees in France and the US will now work for GE Healthcare. The company also plans to include around 70 new employees in its US pharmaceutical diagnostics team.

Denos is the majority shareholder of Zionexa.

Denos president Olivier Carli said: “We expect GE Healthcare pharmaceutical diagnostics’ acquisition to allow Zionexa to accelerate the development of its promising R&D pipeline, as well as its commercial footprint, while providing Zionexa’s team with access to global and complementary expertise.”

The companies have not divulged financial details of the deal.