Collaboration Formed to Develop New Radiochemicals for Diagnosing, Treating Brain Diseases

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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A collaborative effort between Fuzionaire Diagnostics, McGill University and The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) will foster the development of a new class of radioactive molecules — called radiochemicals — for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.

Radiochemicals are compounds prepared with radioactive elements that are used for medical applications, such as tracers in positron emission tomography (PET) scans. PET scan is an imaging technique that uses small amounts of radioactive materials, a special camera and a computer to help detect emitted radiation and image biological function in vivo.

The collaboration will harness Fuzionaire’s chemistry-based platform that can produce a broad range of radiochemicals using a single platform. The company’s patented HetSiFA compositions can quickly attach to disease-targeting ligands (radiofluorination) within seconds and at room temperature.

Using McGill and The Neuron’s expertise in nuclear medicine (the use of radioactive substances for diagnosis, treatment and clinical imaging), researchers suggest this collaboration has the potential to generate several new radiopharmaceuticals in an effort to improve the diagnosis or treatment of different cancers, as well as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

This platform also can become a tool for drug discovery by offering the possibility to test newly developed radiochemicals in vivo.

“The possibilities of this joint research project are compelling,” Jean-Philip Lumb, PhD, associate professor of chemistry at McGill, said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to exploring powerful new chemistry with the state-of-the-art radiochemistry and brain imaging infrastructure at McGill and The Neuro.”

The expansion of Fuzionaire’s radiochemistry platform to brain imaging will have the the support of Jacob Hooker, PhD, a neuroimaging expert. Hooker is an associate professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and director of radiochemistry at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Fuzioniare Dx is an exciting collaborator for McGill and The Neuro as we seek to translate new fundamental science into the next generation of diagnostic probes and treatment options for neurodegenerative disease,” said Alexey Kostikov, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University, and one of the researchers involved in this collaborative effort.

“This is the beginning of an important partnership,” said Nick Slavin, Fuzionaire’s CEO. “By combining strengths, we can expand our platform across the blood-brain barrier and work towards important new radiopharmaceuticals that could impact the health outcomes of many people,” he said.