Summit Biomedical Imaging has paired up with Theragnostics in a global license agreement for intellectual property around the use of SBI’s fluorescence-labeled PARP inhibitor, PARPi-FL.
PARP (Poly ADP-Ribose Polymerase) is a class of enzymes that plays a role in the normal cellular processes, including DNA repair damage. Tumor cells, however, experience an over-regulation in PARP activity and expression.
Like other PARP inhibitors, PARPi-FL binds to PARP enzymes to block the activity and expression of PARP in tumor cells. Its fluorescence tag takes this one step further, however, by targeting the cancer that over-expresses PARP. This enables the optical imaging agent to help users directly detect tumors with greater selectivity and sensitivity compared to other technologies.
“This agreement with Theragnostics bolsters our IP position with regard to PARPi-FL,” said Andrew Riley, chief executive officer of Summit Biomedical Imaging, in a statement. “It will allow us to focus on developing the oral cancer detection application for this molecule and to bring new diagnostic solutions to market for detecting cancer earlier and improving patient outcomes.”
SBI plans to use it first for the in vivo detection of oral cancer, for which more than 450,000 diagnoses are made each year. The incidence rate for this form of cancer is increasing in many places, including the U.S., and earlier detection will enable earlier intervention, saving lives and lowering intervention costs, with the potential to save more than $1 billion in patient and insurance costs annually.
Theragnostics develops molecular radiotherapy for imaging and treating a broad range of cancers, and has partnered with other companies in the past to further the potential of cancer detection. It previously joined forces with GE Healthcare
on the development and sale of the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT imaging agent, GalliProst, which creates "heatmap-style" images that show the precise location and intensity of PSMA expressed on the surface of prostate cancer cells.
“Theragnostics is pleased to work with SBI for the development of PARP inhibitor based diagnostics,” said Dr. Gareth Smith, chief operating officer of Theragnostics, in a statement. “Leveraging SBI’s expertise in oncological diagnostics applications is an important step forward in implementing our strategy of bringing novel diagnostic agents and new targeted therapies to cancer patients.”
The oral cancer detection market is estimated to be a $5 billion market that is projected to grow over 6.8% annually through 2024.