Small Molecules for Imaging Protein-Protein Interactions

Imaging techniques like positron emission tomography and photon emission computerized tomography are often used with imaging agents to detect the presence and accumulation of amyloid plaques within the human brain. These imaging agents have high specificity for beta amyloid peptides, and administration of such agents aids in the early detection of amyloid plaques in brains of Alzheimer's victims. However, currently available imaging agents have limited success for detecting pre-plaque beta amyloid proteins because they are small and reside within the tissue for a short period of time. Therefore, new imaging agents are needed for enhanced identification of amyloid deposits.

Available for licensing and commercial development are small molecules for imaging protein-protein interactions in Alzheimer's disease. This technology describes a bifunctional molecule with high specificity for beta amyloid proteins that is applicable for in vivo imaging. The molecule contains two moieties with different binding affinities, one moiety has an affinity for amyloid beta proteins, and the other moiety has an affinity for a tissue-specific chaperone. The different moieties of the subject invention are conjoined by an inert linkage group, typically comprised of a hydrocarbon chain, peptide, or carbohydrate. The subject invention is affixed with a label, such as a fluorophore or radioisotope, which adheres to the binding site of the beta amyloid protein, the chaperone, or the linkage group. The choice of label makes the subject invention versatile and employable in several types of imaging modalities such as single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computerized tomography (CT) scans.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Applicable for identification of beta amyloid plaques in patients with or at risk for Alzheimer's disease and pre-plaque amyloid beta proteins
  • Applicable for in vivo imaging protein-protein interactions using small molecules
  • Applicable for image guided therapy of Alzheimer's disease

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical data is available.


King Li (CC)  ➽ more inventions...

S Narasimhan Danthi (CC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 7,943,775 issued 2011-05-17
US Application No. 60/815,740

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize Small Molecules for Imaging Protein-Protein Interactions. Please contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D. at 301-435-3121 or for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Edward (Tedd) Fenn, J.D.
Phone: 240-276-6833

OTT Reference No: E-046-2006/0
Updated: Dec 1, 2006