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Monument to Nycomed’s contrast agents: A research achievement

The monument raised in Nydalen in Oslo honors entrepreneurs and researchers who, starting in 1874, contributed to the development and phenomenal growth of Nycomed (later GE Healthcare).

The monument especially honors researchers Hugo Holterman and Torsten Almén; their groundbreaking efforts in Norwegian medical research led to Nycomed’s contrast agents, which are currently used in healthcare facilities across the world for medical imaging procedures.

Those present at the 2009 dedication ceremony in Nydalen included Torsten Almén and Hugo Holterman’s daughter (Constance Holterman). The monument was jointly dedicated by parliamentary representative Ine Marie E Søreide and Tekna president Marianne Harg.

Work on developing the original contrast agents began in the 1950s.


One of the first contrast agents Nycomed invented was metrizoate, which they sold under the trade name Isopaque and registered in Norway in 1961.

In 1974, the first non-ionic contrast agent, metrizamide, was registered in Norway under the trade name Amipaque; this was followed by iohexol (trade name Omnipaque) in 1982 and iodixanol (trade name Visipaque) in 1988.

Omnipaque became a worldwide success.

Nycomed became Norway’s largest pharmaceutical company with subsidiaries in several European countries and huge sales.

After several years of being owned by various corporations, Nycomed became a part of the American multinational medical technology company GE Healthcare in 2004.

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