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RESEARCHERS PRESENT DATA ON PEPTIDES TO IMAGE THROMBUS, ATHEROSCLEROSIS AND INFECTION HERALDING THE NEW WAVE IN NUCLEAR IMAGING AGENTS

 TORONTO, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In a press briefing held today, Diatech president and CEO Dr. Richard T. Dean showed the first pictures of thrombus detected in human subjects using a radioactive peptide.
 Synthetic peptides labeled with technetium-99m have been shown to successfully image atherosclerosis, infection and thrombus, according to researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 40th Annual Meeting held this week.
 The researchers, working under grants from Diatech, Inc., a Londonderry, NH radiopharmaceutical company, presented results of animal studies performed at Cornell Medical Center and Mount Sinai Medical center, both in New York City, and at Temple University in Philadelphia. Their studies indicate a high correlation between disease target sites, and accumulation of the specific peptide molecule. When tagged with technetium-99m, peptides should provide a fast, safe and non-invasive procedure for detecting and imaging disease.
 "Our pilot clinical studies in Europe are consistent with these animal studies, suggesting that peptides are very effective in targeting disease sites," said Dr. Dean. "We believe that, when tagged with technetium-99m, peptides will provide a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to detect disease and may, in some cases, replace monoclonal antibodies as the technology of choice for nuclear medicine specialists."
 Diatech is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials with Tc-99m P215, one of their peptides to image atherosclerosis. The company also is set to begin clinical trials with P280, a peptide that has shown efficacy in both human and animal studies for detecting deep vein thrombus (DVT), a blood clot in the lower leg, and pulmonary embolism, a life threatening clot in the lung. The company plans to begin clinical trials this year with their peptide to detect infection.
 According to Dr. Jeffrey S. Borer, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cornell Medical Center and chief investigator for the atherosclerosis trials being carried out at Cornell, "We are excited by the possibility of a non-invasive and accurate diagnostic technique for direct imaging of atherosclerotic lesions. Until now, assessing a patient's risk of heart attack or cardiac death has been less than perfect. We believe this imaging approach is likely to improve risk assessment dramatically."
 Peptides are small, synthetically prepared substances with a low probability of causing an immune reaction. Test procedures using peptides can be done quickly since background clearance from the blood is relatively rapid. Tests may be repeated to detect disease and to monitor treatment. While Diatech is ahead in the race to develop technetium-99m labeled peptides, other companies have begun investigating peptides due to their excellent safety and efficacy profiles.
 -0- 6/9/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Miles or Hersh Petrocelly, both of Diatech (In Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre), 416-597-9200, or Tracey Knight of Ted Klein & Company, 212-477-9007, for Diatech/


CO: Diatech, Inc. ST: New Hampshire IN: MTC SU:

TM -- NY002 -- 6832 06/09/93 07:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 9, 1993
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