Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc, of North Billerica, Mass, has acquired US, Canadian, and Australian rights to MS-325 from EPIX Pharmaceuticals Inc, of Lexington, Mass.

Formerly marketed as VASOVIST, gadofosveset trisodium, by Bayer Schering Pharma, MS-325 is a magnetic resonance angiography agent that received approval last December to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease.

To date, there are no other imaging agents approved for MRA in the United States.

Under terms of the agreement, EPIX will continue to own European and other ex-U.S. rights for the imaging agent.

Lantheus expects to launch MS-325 under a different name before the end of the year.

“The acquisition of MS-325 reinforces our growth strategy to continue to bring to market breakthrough new imaging tools,” said Don Kiepert, Lantheus president and CEO.  “MS-325 fits well within our current product portfolio of leading contrast imaging agents. As a first-in-class contrast agent, MS-325 provides a true advance in vascular imaging, and may make it possible for physicians to detect peripheral vascular disease differently than X-ray angiography, which is invasive. We are pleased with this important acquisition and look forward to making this diagnostic tool available to physicians to improve diagnosis and patient management.”