Zirconium-89 PET Imaging Agent for Cancer

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

Development Stage:

Related Invention(s):


Francois Guerard (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Yong Lee (CIT)  ➽ more inventions...

Martin Brechbiel Brechbiel (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 61/779,016
EP Application No. 14779019

Guerard F, et al. PMID 23250287
Guerard F, et al. PMID 2470517

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-111-2013
Updated: Jul 19, 2018