25 Nov 2010   |   News

Oxford: Positron Emission Tomography imaging agents


Isis Innovation, the technology transfer arm of Oxford University, is looking for licensees for a new process for producing fluorine-labelled imaging agents for use in positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

PET requires the use of a positron-emitting radioisotope to trace a biological process. Of the isotopes available, 18F is one of the most convenient. However, as this isotope has a half-life of just less than two hours, reaction and processing times are critically important. In particular, lengthy purification techniques need to be avoided as these lead to a decrease in the level of radioactivity, and ultimately poor quality PET images.

In the new process a late-stage chemical intermediate is tagged with a purification ‘handle’. Detagging can then be achieved using the 18F radiolabel to remove this handle and the product is readily separated from the by-products by solid phase extraction, thereby simplifying and speeding up purification of the desired radiolabel led agent.

Using this technique, a number of highly versatile 18F labelled intermediates have been synthesised.

Data outlining the utility of the method has been published in a scientific journal. The separation techniques have been shown to be simple, as they can be run by automated systems and the reactions require minimal optimisation.

Isis says the technology will be of interest to companies currently selling PET agents and looking to improve the efficiency of production, or those developing new PET imaging agents.

A patent application covering this method has been filed. Isis would like to talk to companies that are interested in commercialising and developing this technology.

For more information, visit the project page at: http://www.isis-innovation.com/licensing/3668.html

References

Fluorous Synthesis of 18F-Radiotracers with [18F] Fluoride ion: Nucleophillic Fluorination as the Detagging Process
Gouveneur, V. et al.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 586-589
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.200803897

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