The human heart has a simple function: it’s a pump that circulates fluid (blood) through a series of pipes (blood vessels). However, the mechanics behind this function are quite complex. They involve an intricate series of conducting pathways that allow for the generation of an electrical impulse that propagates in a specific way through the heart muscle in order to produce a synchronized and efficient contraction, or heartbeat. While scientists understand the theory behind the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat, the specifics of the conducting pathway have been difficult to study…until now.
Brain injuries are exceedingly complex, which makes treatment and rehabilitation difficult in many cases. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have reported using a new imaging technique called High-Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT) to identify the disrupted neural pathways (paths made up of brain cells that communicate with one another) in patients with traumatic brain injury.
Neoprobe’s newly licensed radiopharmaceutical imaging agent, AZD4694, is a fluorine-18 labeled radioligand for use in the imaging and evaluation of patients with signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Thomas Tulip, Ph.D., Neoprobe’s Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer:
We believe AZD4694 has a compelling global commercial outlook and should beneficially facilitate development of more effective disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. This potentially powerful second-generation agent with apparent best-in-class properties has demonstrated strong performance attributes. We believe AZD4694 imaging may be quite useful as an adjunct measure in the diagnosis of this large, growing disease and may allow patients to seek earlier, and therefore potentially more effective, treatment options.
An estimated 35 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A 2009 report by the London-based nonprofit Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), an international federation of 71 national Alzheimer organizations (including the Alzheimer’s Association), indicates that the number of people with dementia is expected to grow sharply to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.
AZD4694 binds to beta-amyloid deposits in the brain and can then be imaged in positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Amyloid plaque pathology is a required feature of Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and the presence of amyloid pathology is a supportive feature for diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease. Patients who are negative for amyloid pathology do not have Alzheimer’s disease.
Neoprobe Corporation, a Dublin, Ohio-based company, develops and commercializes innovative biomedical products that meet critical intraopertive, diagnostic and therapeutic treatment needs of patients and physicans. In January, Neoprobe will officially change its name to Navidea Biopharmaceuticals to reflect the company’s transformation to a biopharmaceutical company focused on targeted diagnostic agents.