New clinical research data suggests that 18F-flutemetamol could add value to current diagnostic tools used by physicians and provide accurate identification of beta amyloid plaques, considered to be a sign of neurodegeneration linked to Alzheimer’s disease. 18F-flutemetamol, a General Electric (GE) Healthcare Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agent currently in phase III development, is being studied to identify the uptake of beta amyloid via imaging of the brain tissue in live humans. Currently, beta amyloid is identified from brain samples acquired post-mortem.
Together with other GE Healthcare imaging modalities, this may help physicians detect amyloid deposition and assist in the detection and treatment of Alzheimer. “The wealth of data presented this year at the annual Human Amyloid Imaging (HAI) meeting fundamentally supports the value Flutemetamol could bring to the Alzheimer’s community,” said Jonathan Allis, MI PET segment leader, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. “The ability to make visual assessments of amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease patients may enable physicians to seek earlier, confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer and make more informed care decisions.”
Data highlights from five clinical abstracts from studies of Flutemetamol presented at the 5th Annual Human Amyloid Imaging (HAI) meeting in Miami, Florida, USA from 14 to 15 January 2011suggest that:
- The in vivo PET retention of Flutemetamol and PIB (Pittsburgh Compound B) have comparable patterns of binding;
- There is a strong concordance between Flutemetamol amyloid imaging and cortical biopsy histopathology using both visual and quantitative methods;
- The combination of Flutemetamol and structural MRI can provide information that could be useful in understanding other (non-AD) neuro-degenerative diseases and in identifying beta amyloid formation; and
- Flutemetamol scans can be categorised with automated software suitable for use in clinical practice.
GE Healthcare already offers a range of imaging modalities used by physicians to assist in the detection of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (CT, MRI, PET, SPECT) and has been a key contributor to the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative since its inception. The company also plays a key role in PredictAD, an EU-funded research project to develop solutions to enable earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.