London, UK, April 03, 2017 – Following a £0.5m Medical Research Council (MRC) grant to implement new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging tracers for mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic loss, Imanova has been awarded an additional £1m of strategic funding from the MRC for clinical evaluation of this combination of tracers in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease – Stage 1 of the MIND-MAPS (Molecular Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease – Mitochondria, Associated Proteins & Synapses) programme.
Kevin Cox, Imanova’s CEO, commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded strategic funding for the MIND-MAPS programme. We would like to thank the MRC and Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) for supporting the proposal and look forward to engaging more widely with the DPUK Imaging Network.”
MIND-MAPS is a pre-competitive consortium between Imanova, AbbVie, the MRC, the Hamamatsu Photonics PET centre, drawing on the therapy area expertise of the DPUK members.
The aim of the programme is the evaluation of multiple markers of neuropathological changes, in healthy subjects and patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, to investigate common pathways of neurodegeneration. Well characterised molecular markers of neurodegenerative disease progression promise to accelerate the development of disease modifying treatment by providing objective and sensitive early markers to evaluate novel treatments.
Ilan Rabiner, Chief Medical Officer at Imanova, stated: “This will be the first study evaluating a set of molecular markers within an individual and will provide the tools for early assessment of novel disease modifying treatments, which currently require long and expensive Phase II studies for proof of concept.”
The study team will work closely with the DPUK Imaging Network, a newly established network that links neuroimaging for neurodegenerative disease across eight major UK research institutions (Cambridge, UCL, KCL, Imperial College London, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, and Edinburgh).
Imanova is a translational research company that specialises in applying positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning techniques to improve productivity in early drug development and to help improve disease understanding.
Established in 2011 Imanova was formed in an innovative alliance between the UK’s Medical Research Council, Imperial College London, King’s College London and University College London to act as a conduit between academia and industry.
The Medical Research Council is at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Thirty-one MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms.
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