BERLIN, October 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH, a Berlin-based specialist in nuclear medical pharmaceuticals (radiopharmaceuticals), announced today that it has received the worldwide exclusive license for the development and commercialization of SOMscan™, from Novartis Pharma AG.
The new Gallium-68-labeled radioactive contrast agent for positron emission tomography (PET) used by SOMscan has the potential to selectively detect and monitor neuroendocrine tumors. Following its potentialregistration, it could be, amongst other applications, used for this indication in conjunction with a new therapeutic drug.
SOMscan binds to four out of five specific receptor subtypes for the naturally-occurring hormone, somatostatin, on the cell surface of neuroendocrine tumors and uses high-resolution combined positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) technique. This may allow detection of neuroendocrine tumors and metastases which previously escaped discovery in imaging diagnoses. The only agent registered to date for the diagnosis of these tumors binds to only one of these receptor subtypes and uses the less sensitive gamma camera technique.
By leveraging high-resolution PET/CT imaging technique, the
diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors with SOMscan has the potential
to be faster, more accurate, more reliable and more specific - with
a marked reduction of radiation exposure for the patient. The
expectation is that tumors and metastases down to a size of
approximately four millimeters can be detected in accurate
anatomical correlation with SOMscan. Since both the SOMscan
diagnostic and therapeutic agent bind to the same tumor receptors,
this makes individual monitoring and management of the course of
the disease possible - another step towards personalized