Edinburgh Molecular imaging Ltd (EM Imaging) announced today that the company has received a SBRI Stratified Medicine Connecting the UK Infrastructure Phase I grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The SBRI grant aims to accelerate and increase the development and adoption of innovative diagnostic tools in order to offer better targeted treatment to patients within the UK healthcare system. It also aims to demonstrate the benefits of companies working within the UK ‘enabling infrastructure’, which is made up of specialist organisations that can help companies understand healthcare needs, and design, evaluate and deliver their products and services into the NHS.
EM Imaging is partnering with the National Institute for Health Research Colorectal Therapies Healthcare Technology Co-operative (NIHR Colorectal Therapies HTC) and the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Leeds (NIHR DEC Leeds), both based at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to qualify the potential role of the novel optical imaging agent EMI-137 for the improved detection of colorectal (CRC) lesion during colonoscopy.
Phase I of the SBRI project will provide an initial demonstration of the clinical and economic utility of EMI-137, thereby providing key inputs for the design of a potential follow-on Phase II SBRI and future clinical studies to be undertaken by EM imaging.
Ian Wilson, CEO of EMI, commented: “EM Imaging are extremely grateful to Innovate UK for their award to formalise the health economic value of EMI-137. The detection of flat, smaller non-polypoid lesion is problematic, which cannot be detected by conventional imaging. EMI-137 potentially addresses this major unmet medical need, by combining targeted molecular probes and advanced imaging technology to improve polyp detection. The whole EM Imaging team is extremely motivated to complete this product’s development and get it into the hands of physicians in order to benefit patients.”
Professor David Jayne, Professor of Surgery at the University of Leeds and Clinical Director of the NIHR Colorectal Therapies HTC in Leeds said: “We are delighted to be working closely with EM Imaging on an Innovate UK-funded project to evaluate an exciting new technique for detecting early bowel tumours. EM Imaging’s novel fluorescent molecular probe can help doctors detect more bowel tumours during colonoscopy. This will allow the tumours to be removed before they get to an advanced stage and therefore improve the outlook for the many patients who suffer from this condition.”
GE-137, a water-soluble probe consisting of a 26–amino acid cyclic peptide that binds the human tyrosine kinase c-Met conjugated to a fluorescent cyanine dye. Intravenous administration of GE-137 leads to its accumulation specifically in c-Met–expressing tumours, and it is safe and well tolerated in humans. Fluorescence colonoscopy in patients receiving intravenous GE-137 enabled visualization of all neoplastic polyps that were visible with white light, as well as an additional previously missed polyps that were not visible with white light. The first-in-human pilot study, published in Nature Medicine shows that molecular imaging using an intravenous fluorescent agent specific for c-Met is feasible and safe, and that it may enable the detection of polyps missed by other techniques.
About Edinburgh Molecular Imaging
EM imaging is a diagnostics company, with a comprehensive R&D portfolio, focused on the development and commercialisation of Optical Imaging agents. The EM Imaging team is made up of academic and industry experts in the field of imaging, chemistry, clinical development, regulatory affairs and commercialisation of in vivo diagnostic imaging products.
About NIHR’s Colorectal Therapies Healthcare Technology Co-operative and Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Leeds
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).
The National Institute for Health Research has funded four Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives (DECs) to help generate information on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of in vitro diagnostic devices which are important in helping to improve the way diseases are diagnosed. This will help patients access the most appropriate treatments more quickly and help the NHS make the best use of its resources.
The Academic Unit of Health Economics (AUHE) at the University of Leeds specialises in evaluations of diagnostic tests and works collaboratively with the NIHR DEC Leeds.
The NIHR Colorectal Therapies HTC is a national network that provides expertise in biomedical science, clinical application and commercialisation to advance the care of patients with colorectal diseases. Through a structured and collaborative approach the HTC defines clinical areas in need of innovation and develops novel solutions that are progressed to clinical practice.
Edinburgh Molecular Imaging