Aspect Imaging Announces PhenoQuant™ Commercial Molecular Imaging Contrast Agent Program

CAGE Chemicals, University of Turin and Aspect Imaging to
Develop Applications and Products for Molecular Imaging on
Aspect's M2™ Compact MRI System for Preclinical Imaging

TORONTO, Canada, SHOHAM, Israel, and TURIN, Italy, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Aspect Imaging today announced its agreement with CAGE Chemicals to develop and manufacture Aspect's PhenoQuant™ line of contrast agents for preclinical research. A third contributor in the partnership, University of Turin's Molecular Imaging Center under the direction of Dr. Silvio Aime, will develop scientific pre-clinical applications and protocols to support the use of the agents for molecular imaging using Aspect's M2™ compact high-performance MRI system.

Aspect Imaging has commercialized a novel MRI platform called the M2™ that greatly simplifies the use and cost of MRI. As the system has no magnetic fringe field and does not require the cost of dedicated facilities or expert personnel associated with operating traditional MRI systems, the M2 provides a significant advantage in terms of affordability, ease of operation and flexibility of installation. Another benefit of the M2 is the fact that its operating frequency - 1 Tesla - is optimal for performing contrast-enhanced molecular imaging with gadolinium-based contrast agents. The arrangement with CAGE Chemical to develop and commercialize PhenoQuant™ agents will enhance the breadth of applications that can be performed on the M2 platform and will provide a wide variety of application-specific agents.

"We are thrilled to announce the launch of our PhenoQuant™ contrast agent line and our partnership with CAGE Chemicals," says Uri Rapoport, Aspect Imaging's Founder and CEO. "Our growing installed base of leading research institutes using the M2 platform can now leverage our new PhenoQuant™ agents to increase the breadth of biomarkers that can be quantified".

"We are pleased to be working with Aspect Imaging to provide a broad range of high quality molecular imaging agents to researchers worldwide who are interested in phenotyping using the M2 compact MRI system", says Camilla Cavallotti, CEO of CAGE Chemicals. "CAGE's excellence in chemical synthesis, QC and manufacturing will ensure the highest levels of quality and reproducibility required by leading molecular imaging scientists".

The first agent from the program will be a gadolinium-based MRI agent for use with angiography and dynamic contrast imaging (DCE) on Aspect's M2 desktop MRI that will be used to assess changes in vascular permeability in neo-formed vessels in tumor animal models. Forthcoming agents will include those that can assess the over-expression and up-regulation of receptors of folic acid involved in cancer, agents that target specific integrin receptors, and agents that deal with experiments of imaging-guided drug delivery.

PhenoQuant™ contrast agents will be distributed exclusively through Aspect Imaging and optimized for use on Aspect's M2 compact MRI system.

About Aspect Imaging:

Aspect Imaging (www.aspectimaging.com) is the world's leader in high-performance compact MRI imaging systems for preclinical, clinical and advanced industrial applications. In preclinical research, Aspect's M2™ platform and suite of products enables academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies to harness the power and insights of MRI but without the cost, complexity and technical burden of traditional MRI systems. With Aspect's integrated and simple-to-use platform, researchers can derive deep insights into their biological questions quickly, easily and cost-effectively - - and all with the push of a button. As the system has no fringe magnetic field, the M2 can be placed anywhere in a working lab including at a scientist's benchtop. The M2™ platform is used by leading institutions for a broad range of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro applications including high-resolution 3D anatomical, molecular, functional and multi-modality imaging. The Aspect high-performance MRI system is used to quantify the expression of disease, to monitor disease progression and to assess therapeutic efficacy and response.

About CAGE Chemicals

CAGE Chemicals (www.cagechemicals.com) manufactures custom and catalogued specialty synthesized research chemicals and imaging agents that combine biomedically relevant metal irons and their delivery to customized biological targets. CAGE's strong expertise in synthetic chemistry, their focus on producing commercial agents under the highest quality standards and their extensive suite of analytical instruments ensure the highest levels of reliable, reproducible and quality-based commercial molecular imaging agents. CAGE is based on the established experience in the design, synthesis and characterization of ligands and metal complexes for the different techniques of molecular imaging. CAGE Chemicals is a spin-off company originated in 2006 by researchers from the University of Turin and the University of Eastern Piedmont.


SOURCE Aspect Imaging



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