Novel PET compound upends the field at detecting Alzheimer’s-associated amyloid

Washington University researchers say they have developed a novel PET tracer that is significantly better than FDA-approved compounds at detecting amyloid clusters in patients with suspected Alzheimer’s disease.

The study describing their work posted online Nov. 2 in Scientific Reports.

G.S.M. Sundaram, PhD, and colleagues write that the new substance, called Fluselenamyl, demonstrates “potent binding affinity to autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer’s disease homogenates and the binding affinity constant is superior” to that of F-18 florbetapir (trade name Amyvid), F-18 flutemetamol (Vizamyl) and F-18 florbetaben (Neuraceq).

These are the three contrast agents currently approved by the FDA for detecting amyloid beta.

In a news release sent by the St. Louis institution, senior study author Vijay Sharma, PhD, a professor of radiology, neurology and biomedical engineering, says the team showed that Fluselenamyl binds to human amyloid beta proteins two to 10 times better than any of the three.

Sharma adds that Fluselenamyl is both more sensitive and, probably, more specific than currently available contrast agents.

“Using this compound, I think we can reduce false negatives, potentially do a better job of identifying people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease and assess the effects of treatments,” Sharma says.

Click here to read the release and here to read the full study for free.