BIO 2008: Molecular Imaging: Early Collaboration Needed

One session on Wednesday morning addressed the use of molecular modeling in drug development. Ian Wilson, Portfolio and Strategy Manager, GE Healthcare discussed the development of PET clinical biomarkers. He mentioned the need to collaborate early, and the fact that academic partners can be great partners.  One important question to ask, he notes, is whether or not you need preclinical capabilities. He then went on to  discuss GE Global’s clinical imaging network, an expertise hub for image acquisition and analysis designed to help speed drug development.  Merck, University of Manchester’s Wolfson Molecular Imaging Center and University of Texas MD Anderson’s Cancer Center are all actively involved in imaging research. (For some clinical case studies, click here). Anderson and GE are developing the center with the goal of being able to take compound development, perform pathology, tissue and biomarker analysis, so that sites can be identified that have high or low levels of expression of a given target that is linked to progression of specific cancer… Also important were: Imaging platform development, operational rigor, and manufacturing platforms such as PET and SPECT. A major dilemma for industry right now is lack of resources, Wilson said.  Companies are focusing so heavily on drug development that many ask, should these efforts be diluted by dedicating resources to imaging? AMS