Business, diagnostic imaging  

MDS Nordion and Macrocyclics collaborate in development of new compounds for molecular imaging

10 June 2005

Ottawa, Canada. MDS Nordion and Macrocyclics Inc. have entered into a research and development collaboration to develop innovative, bifunctional chelates for use in molecular imaging and targeted therapeutic pharmaceuticals. Bifunctional chelates are chemical compounds used to secure a radioisotope to a molecular targeting agent such as a monoclonal antibody, peptide, or other molecules specific for biologic receptors. The use of molecular targeting molecules is an established and increasingly promising technique that has the potential to significantly improve the ability to diagnose and treat disease, including cancer.

The three-year collaboration with Macrocyclics will focus on novel chelate structures, linkers and conjugation methods to enable the use of a wider range of targeting vectors by the research community. The objective is to develop, and make available chelates that have performance features, such as high efficiency radiolabelling at room temperature, while maintaining stability comparable to industry standard chelates. New chelates will be assessed with a variety of MDS Nordion radioisotopes including: yttrium-90, lutetium-177, indium-111 and copper-64.

"Macrocyclics has an innovative scientific team and is a leading provider of chelates and linkers to the research community,” said Steve West, President of MDS Nordion. “Our collaboration with Macrocyclics strengthens MDS Nordion’s commitment to expand our discovery and development services including radiolabelling and molecular imaging applications for pharmaceutical drug development, and complement our leadership position in the co-development and commercial manufacturing of novel radiopharmaceuticals.”

Molecular imaging is the application of nuclear medicine for the non-invasive investigation of cellular activity and is increasingly being used in the drug development process. Targeted therapeutic pharmaceuticals treat disease by directing the treatment to specific types of cells while seeking to spare healthy tissue and reduce side effects to the patient.

“We are very pleased to be collaborating with MDS Nordion, an international leader in radioisotope supply and radiopharmaceutical services for the nuclear medicine industry,” said Dean Sherry, President, Macrocyclics, and Professor of Radiology, University of Texas – Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas and Professor of Chemistry, University of Texas, Dallas.

Through this collaboration, researchers will have access to innovative bifunctional chelates and linkers to help them pursue new avenues of investigation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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