Molecular imaging agent promising for Alzheimer's diagnosis

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Results from a clinical study of AV-1, a novel radiopharmaceutical for PET imaging of amyloid plaques in patients with Alzheimer's disease, were released this week. PET images made with the AV-1 compound were able to help locate large amounts of beta-amyloid proteins in the brains of those suffering from the disease. In contrast, there was no retention of AV-1 in the cerebellar cortex, an area where amyloid plaques do not accumulate, according to the study which was presented at the 8th International Conference on AD/PD in Salzburg Austria. The study was presented by Dr. Christopher Rowe from Austin Hospital of Melbourne, Australia, a leading investigator in the field of molecular imaging of Alzheimer's disease.

The study comes as new data shows that the number of Americans with the disease is mounting, with a new Alzheimer's Association report released this week estimating the number to be over 5 million.

The goal the clinical study was to examine whether PET imaging with AV-1 could be used to distinguish patients with Alzheimer's disease from those with normal cognitive function. This was the first study evaluating an 18F-compound designed to image amyloid plaques. The wide availability of 18F allows for the possibility of amyloid imaging at a large number of clinical sites worldwide, according to Avid Radiopharmaceuticals that has licensed and is developing the compound.

"We are extremely encouraged by the results of this clinical study with Avid's first compound, AV-1. These data have provided the rationale for Avid's next generation compounds for amyloid imaging, which are now in clinical trials in the United States.", said Daniel Skovronsky, MD, PhD, CEO of Avid.

AV-1 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.