Cerveau Technologies signed a contract with VU Medical Center in Amsterdam on Wednesday to manufacture and supply its early-stage PET imaging agent [F-18]MK-6240 for research projects over the next several years.
The agent will be used in PET scans to evaluate the status and progression of aggregated tau protein called neurofibrillatory tangles, which is an indication of several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s.
“There is a large unmet need in the academic clinical setting, as well as with biotech and the pharmaceutical industry, to properly monitor and quantify the spread of tau pathology using PET,” Dr. Arjen Brussaard of VU Medical Center, said in a statement.
Tau is becoming the primary outcome parameter for many of the upcoming clinical trials investigating Alzheimer’s since it correlates better with cognitive impairment in patients compared to beta-amyloid. In May 2016,
a team at Washington University School of Medicine used an imaging agent that binds to tau and found that it’s superior to beta-amyloid.
As part of the contract agreement, Cerveau will provide VU Medical Center with access to its pharmaceutical partners that plan to conduct a series of therapy trials. The medical center is also encouraged to conduct its own research to evaluate potential preventive treatments for Alzheimer’s.
VU Medical Center has strong expertise in quantitative PET imaging as well as PET/MR imaging. Its BV Cyclotron is compliant with Good Manufacturing Processes and operated by radiopharmaceutical chemistry researchers, which make it one of the preferred centers for molecular imaging in dementia research.
Cerveau also made a deals with AbbVie
in October. With AbbVie, [F-18]MK-6240 will be used as a biomarker in clinical trials that are evaluating drugs in development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s as well as a biomarker in the Janssen's neurodegenerative disease research studies.