Clinical trial involving novel PET agent may help Parkinson’s patients

An upcoming study will test a new imaging agent which allows visualization of human synapses, according to a news release. Results will inform a future trial designed to aid Parkinson’s patients.

Rodin Therapeutics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts created the new imaging agent—radiotracer [11C]UCB-J—which targets synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A during PET imaging. In the trial, healthy patients and those with Alzheimer’s will undergo brain scans with the radiotracer and subsequent scans 28 days later.

Results of the study will be used during the company’s Phase 1b trial testing a novel therapeutic compound created to strengthen synapses in patients with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.

“Most neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are associated with deteriorating synapses—but until now, physicians and researchers have not been able to measure synaptic density in a living patient,” said J. Michael Ryan, MD, Rodin’s chief medical officer, in a statement. “This PET scan should allow us to visualize brain synaptic density in patients and possibly track their response to therapies over time.”