Bayer Schering Pharma to license Avids molecular imaging agent for diagnosing Alzheimers disease
Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc., a product-focused molecular imaging company, and Bayer Schering Pharma, a world leader in the diagnostic imaging pharmaceutical field, announced that Bayer Schering Pharma has exercised its right to license Avid’s 18F-AV1/ZK compound, a molecular imaging agent that targets amyloid plaques in the brain. When used with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, the AV1/ZK compound may enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which affects an estimated 5 million Americans and is expected to potentially affect up to 16 million Americans by 2050. 
“We are very pleased that Bayer Schering is committed to the field of molecular imaging and to the development of AV1/ZK,” said Daniel Skovronsky, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Avid.  “This is an endorsement of both the potential clinical value of AV1/ZK as well as our product pipeline of molecular imaging compounds for early diagnosis of AD, Parkinson’s disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. To have a world-class company like Bayer Schering invest in this field will only accelerate the development of new products like AV1/ZK to the benefit of both physicians and AD patients in the future.”
AV1/ZK is one of a series of novel compounds discovered in the laboratory of Dr. Hank Kung from the University of Pennsylvania and exclusively licensed to Avid for development and commercialization. Avid entered into an exclusive option agreement with Schering AG (now Bayer Schering Pharma) in December 2005 for the development of AV1/ZK and related compounds referred to as 18F-stilbenes for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of Alzheimer’s disease.