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MPI Research, 3D Imaging and inviCRO team up for imaging centre

By Fiona BARRY , 12-Feb-2014
Last updated on 12-Feb-2014 at 17:39 GMT

An architect's model of the Translational Image Center
An architect's model of the Translational Image Center

MPI Research, inviCRO and 3D Imaging have partnered to build a Translational Imaging Center, providing molecular imaging, autoradiography, and animal modelling for pharmaceutical clients to investigate drug candidates.

The three companies said they had teamed up to “address increasing demand from pharmaceutical and other life science companies for comprehensive imaging services in one location.

The collaboration will combine “inviCRO’s molecular imaging informatics team, 3D Imaging’s radiopharmaceutical group, and the comprehensive CRO-based services of MPI Research,” they said in a statement.

InviCRO performs imaging analysis services for contract research, while 3D Imaging provides preclinical, translational, and clinical PET (positron emission tomography) imaging for drug development research.

MPI Research CEO William U. Parfet said having the services under one roof would allow clients to investigate compounds in a faster and more cost-effective way, and the facility would use a “translational approach” – converting preclinical data to clinical data – which would “de-risk the testing process” by leading to “fewer failures in clinical development and determination of poor clinical success probability early in development.

As a result, 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,” added Kristie Burns, spokeswoman for the partnership.

Onsite: particle accelerator and vivarium

The imaging centre will investigate drug exposure at the target site, binding to the pharmacological target, and expression of the intended pharmacology, all in the same location.

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,” said the spokeswoman.

For these services, the site will include a cyclotron (a type of particle accelerator), due to be installed onsite this month, and a vivarium. MPI Research experienced problems with its animal modelling facilities two years ago, when the United States Department of Agriculture released a report asking MPI Research to change its enclosures for cats, dogs and non-human primates after animal injuries .

Firms collaborate

The 10,000 sq ft-centre will be based at MPI Research headquarters in Mattawan, Michigan, which it claims is the largest contract research facility in the world, and employ a mixture of staff from MPI Research, inviCRO and 3D Imaging.

Construction of the centre is planned to finish in April, with full production expected by June 2014, after instrument checks.

Burns told Outsourcing-Pharma.com the three firms decided to join forces on the project as “a continuation of the development of a very strong professional and collaborative preexisting relationship between the three principals.” 

Scott Haller, director of the Translational Imaging Center described it as “a collaborative effort with our sponsors.” The centre’s clientele will be composed of small to large drug development enterprises, Burns told us.

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