EPIX imaging agent can enhance MRI

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EPIX Pharmaceuticals released results from a Phase 2a clinical trial of EP-2104R, a novel fibrin-binding thrombus (clot) imaging agent. The results were presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting in Chicago this week. The results found that EP-2104R was able to detect blood clots not previously seen on MRI and enhanced the images of clots previously seen on MRI.  Blood clots are a major underlying cause of several diseases including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke, and use of a minimally invasive method for detection clots would be very beneficial, the company said.
“This trial evaluated EP-2104R as a potential contrast agent for use in MRI to detect thrombi.  The data show EP-2104R was well-tolerated and able to detect or enhance clots on MRI images in all six of the body systems studied,” said Andrew Uprichard, MD, president of EPIX Pharmaceuticals. “In many cases, existing modalities are not able to provide a definitive thrombus diagnosis and multiple tests must be conducted to reach a definitive diagnosis. EP-2104R could potentially replace multiple tests resulting in significant cost savings. With these encouraging data, we intend to seek a collaboration to continue to develop EP-2104R.”
The trial was an open-label study designed to examine the imaging qualities of EP-2104R in a clinical setting. The trial included two studies with a total of 52 patients. The first study involved 14 patients in two cohorts: six patients in a pulmonary embolism cohort and eight patients in a deep vein thrombosis cohort. The second included 38 patients in four cohorts: 15 patients in a carotid artery cohort; eight patients in an atrial thrombus cohort; nine patients in a left ventricle cohort; and six patients in a thoracic aorta cohort, according to a release of the results.
 “The results from this study demonstrate that EP-2104R is effective in detecting clots not readily visible in pre-contrast screening and can show additional enhancement in those clots previously seen through non-contrast imaging,” said Josef Vymazal, MD, PhD, Hospital Na Holmolce, Czech Republic and study investigator. “In addition, EP-2104R detected previously unseen pathologies in some patients in the trial and the results show that we may be able to utilize EP-2104R in contrast enhanced vascular imaging.”