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Imanova and Imperial College collaborate on state-of-the-art imaging for dementia drug research

London, October 2015: Imanova is pleased to announce an important collaboration with Imperial College London as part of Dementias Platform UK’s new Imaging Network, creating the first nationally coordinated PET-MRI network anywhere iGE PET-MR Scannern the world.

The Dementias Platform UK will be purchasing five PET-MRI machines from GE and Siemens, as well as funding 50% of the 3T MRI scanner at Cardiff University. In total, DPUK will invest £23.5m, which adds to over £40m of institutional funds that are being provided to build new facilities or refurbish existing ones to house the new scanners.

In collaboration with Imperial College, one of the DPUK funded PET-MRI scanners (GE) will be installed at Imanova in its West London Centre for Imaging Sciences. Through this investment, Imanova will have a total of 5 clinical scanners to complement its extensive PET radiochemistry facilities that include two cyclotrons and 24 hot cells, placing the company in a unique position to support academic research and drug development for the Pharmaceutical industry.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) enables visualisation of specific molecules, including key markers of dementias, such as the misfolded proteins Amyloid-beta and tau that are the pathological hallmarks of the disease. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) enables imaging of brain structure and physiology. Combining these two powerful imaging techniques will provide researchers and drug developers with a unique tool to better understand disease progression and to monitor the effectiveness of novel therapies.

Imanova has world-leading expertise in imaging sciences and their application to disease understanding and translational drug development. The company is already actively involved with the DPUK and has been performing all of the Amyloid-beta and tau PET scanning for the pilot phase of the MRC Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study. This study, led by Prof Simon Lovestone at Oxford, is acquiring a wide range of biomarker data in the same individuals in order to identify optimal approaches for the assessment of change in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents for dementia.

Prof Roger Gunn, from Imanova and Imperial College who is leading the PET component of the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study said “PET-MRI provides us with the unique opportunity to acquire multi-modal images of the human brain at different times along the dementia disease pathway, increasing our understanding of the disease processes themselves and providing us with powerful tools for the stratification of subjects and assessment of change in clinical trials of novel AD therapies”.

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