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Ann Arbor Firm In Clinical Imaging Deal

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molecular imaging
(credit: istock) Technology Report
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ANN ARBOR — Molecular Imaging Inc., a specialty contract research organization providing preclinical imaging services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to access a substantial number of luciferase-enabled cancer cell lines developed at Dana-Farber.

Access to these unique lines dramatically expands Molecular Imaging’s ability to apply bioluminescent imaging technology to a broad array of cancer disease models, including expanded capability in various leukemias, multiple myeloma, triple-negative breast cancer, glioma and melanoma.

Molecular Imaging will be collaborating with Andrew Kung, M.D., and Scott Armstrong, M.D., to further develop and make available these, and other cell lines, to improve the quantification and predictive power of bioluminescent imaging in cancer.

Kung is Director of the Lurie Family Imaging Center at Dana-Farber, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Dana-Farber, Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Medical School. Armstrong is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Dana-Farber, Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School and is co-director of both the Cancer Program/Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s Leukemia program.

“This licensing relationship gives Molecular Imaging access to over 100 additional luc-enabled cell lines, providing the ability to use imaging in a much broader array of cancer disease models, with greater confidence,” said W.R. Leopold, vice president of research and development at Molecular Imaging. “Access to the knowledge and skills of doctors Kung and Armstrong only makes the opportunity to advance the science of imaging more compelling. We look forward to collaborating with Andrew and Scott in making these cell lines available as part of our services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to enhance R&D decision-making.”

According to Kung, he, Armstrong and Dana-Farber have been working to find the right collaboration to assure the industry has access to these cell lines.  “A lot of our effort has gone into developing cell lines that will materially improve the effectiveness of research and development in a wide array of cancers,” Kung said. “We believe Molecular Imaging is an excellent partner to accomplish this goal. Their dedication to preclinical in vivo imaging and their expertise in this area is a perfect complement to the kinds of work being done here to enhance the application of imaging to critical problems in cancer drug discovery.”

Molecular Imaging expects to nearly triple its validated luc-reporter cell line library by end of first quarter 2012. For Molecular Imaging, this expansion in luc-reporter lines complements the incorporation of fluorescence molecular tomography into the company’s array of imaging modalities. The company will have a number of FMT imaging-validated disease models available by early 2012 to aid in R&D decision-making. Molecular Imaging also offers MRI, micro-CT, micro-PET, bioluminescence and 2D fluorescence to provide the benefits of quantitative anatomical and functional imaging to nearly 100 customers. Since Molecular Imaging provides these services with all imaging modalities in one location, the multiplier benefit of multi-modality imaging is readily available to customers, as well.

Molecular Imaging is a specialty contract research organization that employs a wide array of imaging technologies including MRI, micro-CT, micro-PET, FMT, bioluminescence and fluorescence to provide information at anatomical, functional, and molecular levels to enhance decision-making.

Complementing Molecular Imaging’s imaging expertise is a team of pharmacology experts for optimal integration between disease pharmacology and respective image-based biomarkers and end points.

For more information, visit www.molecularimaging.com or contact Tom Ludlam at (734) 926-4200 or tludlam@molecularimaging.com or Nick Ayers at (201) 970-6586 or nayers@molecularimaging.com.

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