German drugmaker Schering AG has agreed to transfer the radiopharmaceutical business of its CIS bio International unit to a Belgian consortium, as part of an ongoing restructuring of the group.

The purchase price for the sale to the consortium - formed by Ion Beam Applications SA and the Institut National des Radioelements – has not been disclosed, although Schering said the transaction would peg back its operating profit for 2006 by around 50 million euros ($59m).

Under the terms of the deal, the consortium buys Schering's current radiopharmaceutical business, with annual sales of around 120 million euros in 2005, while the German drugmaker focuses on other diagnostic areas such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and optical/molecular imaging.

Dr Karin Dorrepaal, who heads up Schering’s diagnostic imaging activities, said: "We realign our strategy in the area of diagnostic imaging to focus on innovative growth opportunities and to increase our operating performance in this area at the same time."

Closing of the transaction is expected within the first half of 2006.