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 short time.
Dr. Lars Abrahmsen, 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.”
Affibody's Chief Executive Officer, Torben Jorgensen said, “We are delighted to be working alongside such a prestigious group in the USA.”
“This collaboration further validates our strategic focus on medical imaging and personalized medicine within the oncology field and ensures that we maintain a leading competitive position in the rapid development of agents for molecular medical imaging.”
“Affibody AB is particularly pleased to be increasing its research and development programs in North America, and to be collaborating with research groups that are working in one of the leading clinical cancer trial centers in the USA,” he added.