United Kingdom-based Imanova has received £1 million ($1.2 million U.S.) of strategic Medical Research Council (MRC) funding to clinically evaluate new positron emission tomography (PET) imaging tracers for measuring mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic loss associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Imanova previously had received a £0.5 million $623,000 U.S.) MRC grant to support implementation of this tracer combination.
This investigation is part of Imanova’s participation in Stage 1 of the MIND-MAPS (Molecular Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease Mitochondria, Associated Proteins & Synapses) program.
“We are delighted to have been awarded strategic funding for the MIND-MAPS program,” Imanova’s CEO Kevin Cox said in a press release. “We would like to thank the MRC and Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) for supporting the proposal and look forward to engaging more widely with the DPUK Imaging Network.”
The DPUK Imaging Network was established in 2014-15 across eight major U.K. research institutions to link neuro-imaging for neurodegenerative disease facilities. The network’s primary task was pursuit of a major procurement (funded by the MRC Clinical Research Infrastructure (CRI) monies) to equip five of the centers with state-of-the-art MRI-PET imaging, complementing facilities already in place.
A pre-competitive consortium established collaboratively by Imanova, AbbVie, the MRC, and the Hamamatsu Photonics PET center, MIND-MAPS draws on the DPUK members’ therapy expertise.
The goal of this study program is to evaluate several markers of neuronal disease changes, both in patients with AD and PD and also healthy people, in order to identify and study mechanisms of degeneration common to both diseases. Robust molecular markers aid the development of treatments, as they constitute solid and sensitive barometers of novel therapies early on, according to the Imanova announcement.
Imanova is an international translational imaging center located at Imperial College London’s Hammersmith Hospital campus, was formed in 2011 in an alliance between the MRC and three world-class London universities: Imperial College London, King’s College London and University College London, specializes in applying PET and MRI imaging science scanning techniques designed to improve early drug development productivity and to help improve understanding of disease progress.
Imanova has completed more than 50 clinical studies, and with its extensive experience using imaging to facilitate the drug development pipeline, is uniquely positioned to serve as a conduit to facilitate productive, mutually beneficial relationships between academia and industry.
“This will be the first study evaluating a set of molecular markers within an individual and will provide the tools for early assessment of novel disease modifying treatments, which currently require long and expensive Phase II studies for proof of concept,” explained, Imanova’s Chief Medical Officer Ilan Rabiner in the release.
For more information, visit imanova.co.uk