Affibody and National Cancer Institute, NIH, to Develop Molecular In Vivo Imaging Agents for Detection of Cancer


Affibody AB announced a cooperative agreement with the NCI/NIH on the development of conjugates with Affibody® molecules to be used for in vivo imaging of cancers over-expressing HER2. The collaboration is a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the radiation Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute and builds on Affibody AB's proprietary Affibody® technology and various conjugation systems of the NIH. The molecules under development are expected to be useful for medical imaging monitoring of patients with cancer diseases that over-express the HER2 protein.

Affibody will design and develop engineered Affibody® molecules specific for HER2, a receptor protein often over-expressed in breast- and ovary cancers, among others. NCI plans to conjugate the engineered Affibody® molecules with various detection molecules to evaluate them for non-invasive tumor and metastasis visualization. Medical imaging agents should be highly specific and small, as small size allows for good tissue penetration and rapid clearance from the blood. This renders high contrast images within very short time.

Dr. Lars Abrahmsén, Chief Scientific Officer at Affibody, commented: "Affibody® molecules are perfectly suited for imaging agents due to their very small size combined with high specificity for their target. In addition, they can be produced by peptide synthesis which allows for site specific and quantitative incorporation of the tracer in a single chemical process. This increases the sensitivity of the tumor detection as well as facilitates the manufacturing process for clinical grade material."

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