SNM launches clinical trials network
More than 150 physicians, imagers and pharmaceutical developers convened to examine the need for streamlined drug discovery through the integration of imaging biomarkers into multi-center clinical trials, during the SNM Molecular Imaging Summit, Feb. 8-9 in Clearwater, Fla.

Attendees learned how SNM's new Clinical Trials Network might facilitate faster and more cost-effective drug development through the integration of imaging biomarkers into Phase 1, 2, 3 and 4 therapeutic clinical trials, SNM reported. The workshop outlined details of participation in the network and examined the critical need for standardization and harmonization across imaging sites.

It also featured presentations and discussions about methods and shortcomings of current drug development practices, the potential for imaging biomarkers in multicenter clinical trials, the role of the SNM Clinical Trials Network in drug development, and fundamentals of participation in the network.

"After listening carefully to the needs of these various, but interconnected communities, SNM has focused on the issue of limited harmonization of imaging protocols between multiple imaging centers," said SNM President Robert W. Atcher, PhD. "SNM will ensure the use of a consistent methodology and protocol across the multiple clinical trial sites, which is key to quality data generation and ultimate FDA approval of investigational therapeutics."

The use of imaging in clinical trials can help pharmaceutical developers determine earlier in the development process whether a new product is clinically promising-accelerating the development of promising compounds and eliminating those without apparent patient benefit earlier in the development cycle, according to the society.

"It is important that interested imaging centers, drug manufacturers and other facilities get involved at this time as there are steps to be taken to ensure imaging standardization and to maintain imaging quality control across multiple sites," Atcher added.