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GE boosts commitment to Alzheimer's research

by Loren Bonner , DOTmed News Online Editor
GE Healthcare announced a partnership with the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Inc. on a new research collaboration intended to boost its commitment to Alzheimer's disease research and development.

GE's PET amyloid imaging agent, flutemetamol, will be part of the trail that evaluates Eisai's investigational compound E2609, a BACE (beta-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme) inhibitor for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's. Flutemetamol is being used to select patients with beta amyloid plaque, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

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Under terms of the agreement, GE Healthcare's proprietary software technology will be used during the trial to help support imaging data analysis.

"This partnership may ultimately support the market entry of important therapies, and potentially, expedited time to market because the right patients have been identified for participation in clinical trials," said Pascale Witz, president and CEO of GE Healthcare's medical diagnostics division, in a statement.

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has accepted GE's application to review flutemetamol. Eli Lilly & Co.'s Amyvid received FDA approval in the spring of 2012. It's currently the only available PET imaging agent to measure beta-amyloid plaque in patients with suspected Alzheimer's disease.

Siemens’ subsidiary PETNET Solutions Inc. entered a deal in November 2011 with Eli Lilly to gain U.S. manufacturing and distribution rights for Amyvid.

GE said that by collaborating with the pharmaceutical industry to assist in their development of the next generation of therapies to treat disorders like Alzheimer's, and working with potential partners in the industry, the company can provide imaging support for clinical trials of therapeutic agents.

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