Mauna Kea (ENT:MKEA) said yesterday it inked a research collaboration deal with Edinburgh Molecular Imaging to explore the combination of EM Imaging’s in vivo optical imaging agents with Mauna Kea’s confocal laser endomicroscopy platform to diagnose cancer.
EM Imaging said it will supply optical imaging agent EMI-137 to 2 investigational sites to perform clinical efficacy studies in pacnreatic and lung cancers using celular level endomiscroscopy with Mauna Kea’s Cellvizio.
“We have been at the forefront of image-guided surgery with novel molecular markers and advanced imaging modalities for several years. With Cellvizio and EMI-137, we will now enable for the first time highly specific real-time imaging at the cellular level in solid tumors. This combination of molecular markers, targeted macroscopic image-guided surgery/endoscopy and endomicroscopy represents a significant clinical milestone that we are about to embark upon,” Go Van Dam and Dr Wouter Nagengas of the University Medical Center Groningen said in prepared remarks.
The company said that intravenous administration of EMI-137 leads to selective accumulation in c-Met expressing tumors which can be detected optically via fluorescent markers attached to the molecular imaging agent.
“Lung Cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the world and any methodologies that could allow us to improve diagnosis, treatment monitoring and surgical resection are urgently required. We will evaluate the potential impact of Cellvizio and EMI-137 in our patients working alongside surgeons and pulmonologists at the University of Edinburgh,” Dr Kev Dhaliwal of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh said in a press release.
In a separate project EM Imaging said it will provide neutrophil targeting optical imaging agent EMI-200 designed for topical administration in the lungs. Mauna Kea said the studies will be performed under an investigator-sponsored emergency investigational new drug clearance at the Cleveland Clinic in acute patients.
“Early detection and verification of disease at the point of care continues to be a major challenge to patient care and management. This collaboration potentially addresses these major unmet medical needs by combining targeted molecular agents with the most advanced imaging technology available to improve disease detection and guide intervention. We look forward to pioneering this approach withMauna Kea and our clinical partners,” EM Imaging CEO Ian Wilson said in a prepared statement.
“Combining our unique endomicroscopy platform with highly-specific molecular markers from EM Imaging is another key milestone in our development strategy to bring in vivo examination to a level never reached by existing standards. We are delighted to partner with EM Imaging and leading clinical institutions such as the UMCG, Cleveland Clinic and Edinburgh with the common goal to revolutionize the way cancer patients are diagnosed. We continue to deliver on our ambitious roadmap and look forward to the first in-human clinical results of this cutting-edge endeavor,” Mauna Kea CEO Sacha Loiseau said in a press release.