In October 2010, ICT was awarded a grant through the Qualified Therapeutic Discovery Program (QTDP): MRI of Apoptosis Using New Tracers Specific for Caspase Activity

ICT’s technology utilizes cell-membrane-permeable reporter molecules, conjugated to a pan caspase enzyme inhibitor, to detect apoptosis. In this project, we are developing novel 19-F magnetic resonance based tracers for imaging (MRI) apoptosis. We have recently validated the ability of two 19-F MRI candidate tracers to detect apoptosis in vitro. We have six more candidate tracers that are in the pipeline to be synthesized. When the tracers have all been validated (or excluded) for their ability to bind caspase enzymes in vitro, we will select the MRI tracers that exhibit the best binding characteristics for further testing in experimental animals. Accordingly, we will then evaluate:

a) the required chemistry to create the tracers in quantities and purity necessary for commercial production
b) the basal levels of apoptosis in experimental animal models of disease and the enhanced levels of apoptosis exhibited following treatment
c) the dosing requirements and toxicity of the candidate tracers in experimental animals
d) the pharmacodynamics and kinetics of clearance of the MRI tracer’s uptake and clearance

We anticipate that our novel MRI tracer(s) will be launched into the research-use only market sometime in 2012. More pertinent, however, are the applications to human diagnostics and therapeutics that will benefit from the use of this novel MRI tracer. The ability to detect apoptotic cells in human patients using MRI impels us to pursue these reagents further into the pre-clinical and then clinical phases of FDA approval.

Collaborate with ICT

If you need an in vivo detection probe for your research, have a promising molecular detection tracer technology, or would like to collaborate with ICT, please contact Dr. Brian W. Lee at 1-800-829-3194 or (1)952-888-8788.