Translational Imaging Center aims to speed drug development, lower costs

Thought to be the first-of-its-kind, the facility will launch operations in early spring

Lloyd Dunlap
MATTAWAN, Mich.—MPI Research, inviCRO, and 3D Imaging today formally announced the name of their new advanced imaging center being built at the MPI Research headquarters in Mattawan. A joint partnership by the three organizations, the Translational Imaging Center is the first resource for the drug development community to combine molecular imaging, autoradiography, and animal modeling with an onsite cyclotron, vivarium, and advanced image analytics, according to a joint news release.
 
When completed in early spring, the center will have the ability to efficiently translate preclinical data to clinical data, yielding critical insights that the partners believe will be capable of accelerating decisions, discoveries and innovation. Drug developers will have access to imaging, radiochemistry, and informatics solutions to position their teams to make faster, better informed decisions regarding a drug candidate’s potential. 
 
Sponsors will be able to enhance their decision-making process based on evaluating three primary criteria: exposure at the target site, binding to the pharmacological target, and expression of the intended pharmacology. When applied to early and mid-stage development, these imaging solutions answer key questions about drug candidates with just a handful of studies. For late-stage developers, molecular imaging in concert with other diagnostic processes in nonhuman primate models can define the best dosages for future clinical trials.
 
“Today we are pleased to officially announce the name of the Translational Imaging Center,” said MPI Research Chairman, and CEO William U. Parfet. “This Center underscores our commitment to help pioneer a new era of drug development. We have put together a facility and team capable of helping drug developers learn more about their compounds in a faster and more cost-effective way than ever before. We are helping ‘de-risk’ the testing process, accelerating decisions in a very powerful way.”
 
MPI Research, inviCRO, and 3D Imaging’s partnership on the development and operation of the Translational Imaging Center aims to address increasing demand from pharmaceutical and other Iife-science companies for comprehensive imaging services in one location. The addition of the Translational Imaging Center would be contiguous with MPI Research’s current physical plant facility, which the company believes is the largest single-site preclinical/early clinical contract research organization (CRO) in the world.
 
“We wanted the name to be reflective of what we truly feel to be the foundation of the Imaging Center,” said Scott Haller, director of the center. “Our multidisciplinary partnership and commitment to provision of data allowing for true translation to clinical development efforts begat the name ¬ Translational Imaging Center. Our aim is to approach each project as a collaborative effort with our sponsors to help drive new therapeutics into the clinics as safely and as scientifically sound as contemporary paradigms, yet more rapidly and cost effectively.”  
 
The Translational Imaging Center groundbreaking was held last September at the MPI Research global corporate headquarters and is set to open this spring. The cyclotron is slated for onsite arrival and assembly at the center later in February 2014. The 10,000-square-foot, two-story facility is a partnership between MPI Research, inviCRO, and 3D Imaging. The project will leverage the distinct and complementary strengths of each partner, including inviCRO’s molecular imaging informatics team, 3D Imaging’s radiopharmaceutical group, and the comprehensive CRO-based services of MPI Research.
 
MPI Research, with global headquarters in Mattawan, Mich., provides safety evaluation, discovery, bioanalytical and analytical services to the biopharmaceutical, medical device, animal health, and chemical industries. The company offers comprehensive imaging solutions including preclinical imaging, radiochemistry, and data analysis.
 
inviCRO was founded with a mission of improving the value of imaging in drug discovery and development. The company provides a full range of imaging services and software solutions including contract research services, custom data analysis and software programs for image data management and high-throughput image processing. Its experienced team of more than 30 research scientists possesses capabilities in imaging physics, advanced biostatistics, multi-dimensional image processing and software development, and an intimate understanding of imaging systems, agents and animal models. Managing and/or processing more than 15 imaging studies per month across a broad range of applications, inviCRO has processed more than 50,000 scans over the past three years and the company’s analysis and management software is used in over 100 imaging facilities worldwide.
 
3D Imaging was established to bring innovative radiochemistry to drug development research. With an onsite cyclotron embedded in a major medical school research and teaching hospital, 3D Imaging produces any desired radiopharmaceutical. For the past seven years, 3D Imaging has offered preclinical, translational, and clinical PET imaging. Beginning with C-11 and F-18 labeled radiopharmaceuticals, including custom-labeled and custom-formulated drugs and drug candidates, 3D Imaging currently offers 45 different radiotracers. With the addition of novel, solid targetry for in-house production of I-124, Zr-89 and Cu-64, products labeled with these nuclides, and custom labeling with commercially available SPECT nuclides, the company claims it can produce the right tracer for any purpose.
 
 
 
http://www.3dimagingllc.com

Lloyd Dunlap

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