Two Massachusetts firms to develop new in vivo imaging agents
Advanced Proteome Therapeutics (APT) and Atreus Pharmaceuticals have entered into a strategic research agreement to develop new protein and peptide in vivo imaging agents using site-directed peptide modification techniques, previously developed by APT.

The research will be conducted by a team comprised of senior technology staff members from both organizations who will collaborate on focused areas of research and development, according to the Boston-based APT and the Cambridge, Mass.-based Atreus. The first product target is intended for imaging the earliest changes associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

The companies said that the resulting technology is expected to have clinical applications in the diagnosis and management of early rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosis of the disease at its earliest stages allows disease modifying treatment to be instituted before any loss of function occurs.

Under the agreement, Atreus said it will have the exclusive right to commercialize the jointly developed agents in return for royalty payments to APT. Atreus will provide technical, clinical and market experience to the program, as well as intellectual property rights.