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Zirconium-89 PET Imaging Agent for Cancer

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This technology is a new generation of rationally designed chelating agents that improve the complexation of Zirconium-89 for PET imaging of cancers.
NIH Reference Number
Product Type
  • PET
  • imaging agent
  • zirconium-89
Collaboration Opportunity
This invention is available for licensing and co-development.
Description of Technology

Researchers at the NCI Radiation Oncology Branch  and NIH CIT Center for Molecular Modeling developed a tetrahydroxamate chelation technology that provides a more-stable Zr-89 complex as an immuno-PET cancer imaging agent. In either the linear or the macrocyclic form, the tetrahydroxamate complexes exhibit greater stability as chelating agents compared to Zr-89 complexed to the siderophore desferrioxamine B (DFB), a trihydroxamate, which represents the current state of the art chemistry and the agent currently in clinical use. 

In the Zr-89-DFB imaging agents, Zr-89 dissociates from the chelate, resulting in an increasing radioisotope accumulation in the bone 2-3 days after injection. In vitro studies demonstrate the tetrahydroxamate-chelated Zr-89 remained kinetically inert for seven or more days, thereby reducing the amount of Zr-89 that is released compared to the complex containing DFB.

Potential Commercial Applications
  • PET imaging, especially for cancer and in particular Immuno-PET imaging
Competitive Advantages
  • High stability  with low toxicity

Francois Guerard (NCI), Yong Sok Lee (CIT), Martin Brechbiel Brechbiel (NCI)

Development Stage

Guerard F, et al. [PMID 23250287]

Guerard F, et al. [PMID 2470517]

Patent Status
  • U.S. Patent Filed: U.S. Patent Application Number 61/779,016, Filed 13 Mar 2013
  • Foreign Filed: EP - Patent Application 14779019
Related Technologies
  • E-194-2007
  • E-226-2006
  • E-067-1990
Therapeutic Area
Thursday, July 19, 2018