ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.
TSX : ARA

ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.

December 14, 2006 08:35 ET

ART Gets Green Light to Sell its Novel Breast Cancer Optical Imaging Device in Canada

Health Canada issues Medical Device Licence to ART for SoftScan system ATTENTION: Assignment Editors, Business Editors, Lifestyle Editors and Health/Medical Editors.

MONTREAL, CANADA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 14, 2006) - ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. ("ART")(TSX:ARA) announced today that it received an unconditional Health Canada Medical Device Licence to commercialize its SoftScan® optical breast imaging device, effective immediately. ART is now in a position to make SoftScan accessible to Canadian hospitals and clinics to help improve the diagnosis of breast cancer for thousands of women in Canada.

SoftScan is a non-invasive and painless optical imaging technology, which enables the characterization of breast tumours by clinicians as benign or malignant, without exposing the patients to radiation.

According to Dr. Alfred B. Watson, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.R., F.A.C.P.M., Vice Chairman of the Department of Radiology and Chief of Breast Imaging at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Medical Center, as well as acting Chairman of ART's Clinical Advisory Board, the licensing of the SoftScan optical breast imaging system by Health Canada opens "a new era for breast imaging". Dr. Watson further stated: "I am confident that this promising new optical technology, which has now received regulatory approval from Canada's health authorities, will give clinicians the ability to address, over time, a number of unmet needs in the detection, diagnosis, staging and follow-up of breast conservation treatment of breast cancer".

Dr. Nathalie Duchesne, M.D., F.R.C.P. (c), the Director of the Ville Marie Radiology and Breast MRI Centers in Montreal as well as the Scientific Director of the internationally renowned The Breast Course, who acted as a principal investigator in some of the clinical trials of SoftScan, commented: "Mammography is currently the widest front-line approach for the detection of breast cancer but there are significant instances where mammography is either ineffective or impractical to use. The approval of SoftScan means that women in this patient population will have another option available in Canada that could help in the diagnosis of breast cancer, through this innovative optical imaging technology". Dr. Duchesne concluded: "I'm delighted that SoftScan will now be offered to breast cancer patients as a safe, non-invasive diagnostic tool to complement X-ray mammography and I hope it will ultimately help in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer".

"We are very pleased by Health Canada's licensing of SoftScan which constitutes a major milestone and a first step in our strategy to penetrate a global market of US$1.8 billion; it is a testimony to the fact that our product is safe, effective and of high quality - and ready for commercialization," stated Sebastien Gignac, President and CEO of ART. "Health Canada's green light will give Canadian hospitals, clinics and research centers, the opportunity to deliver the benefits of ART's optical imaging technology to their patients and thus offer the prospect of better diagnosis for Canadian women affected by breast cancer and, eventually, this technology will help clinicians around the world improve breast care for women", added Mr. Gignac.

The Medical Device Licence was issued in accordance with the Medical Devices Regulations for a Class III device and certifies that the device meets the safety and effectiveness requirements of Canada's Medical Device Regulations, which along with the ISO 13485 quality standard certification, are among the highest in the industry.

About SoftScan

The SoftScan optical breast imaging system has been designed first as a complementary diagnostic tool to mammography, with ultimate uses in the detection and treatment monitoring of breast cancer. Its non-invasive, painless approach uses time-domain optical imaging technology, which may allow better characterization of breast tumors as benign or malignant and could provide faster assessment of therapeutic effectiveness. The device was created and developed by ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.

About ART

ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. is a leader in molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. ART has developed products in medical imaging, medical diagnostics, disease research, and drug discovery with the goal of bringing new and better treatments to patients faster. eXplore Optix™, an optical molecular imaging device designed for monitoring physiological changes in living systems at the preclinical study phases of new drugs, is distributed by GE Healthcare and is used by industry and academic leaders worldwide. SoftScan®, an optical medical imaging device, is designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. ART is commercializing these products in a global strategic alliance with GE Healthcare, a world leader in mammography and imaging. Finally, the Fenestra™ line of molecular imaging contrast products provide image enhancement for a wide range of preclinical Micro CT applications allowing scientists to see greater detail in their imaging studies, with potential extension into other major imaging modalities. ART's shares are listed on the TSX under the ticker symbol ARA. For more information on ART, visit our website at www.art.ca .

This press release may contain forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that would cause actual events to differ materially from expectations. These risks and uncertainties are described in the Management Proxy Circular of ART dated October 24, 2006, available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under the profile of "ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. (old)" (ART's predecessor issuer).

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