Enhanced Nanoparticle-Based Molecular Imaging via MRI

Summary Enhanced Nanoparticle-Based Molecular Imaging via MRI

Elevator pitch: For biotech and pharmaceutical companies who need to track drug effectiveness in the drug discovery and for MRI facilities, hospitals and physicians who seek to diagnose and treat specific diseases through molecular imaging, the novel nanoparticle imaging agents are MRI contrast agents that enable MRI imaging at high resolution. Compared to alternatives, our NIAs can be produced at a lower cost, improve patient safety and leverage the much wider availability of MRI equipment.

The need: When the nuclear orientation of a material (gas, liquid or solid) is hyperpolarized by techniques such as dynamic nuclear polarization, these materials can function as extremely effective contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, however, the spin relaxation time (known as the T1 time) is rapid (nanoseconds to a few seconds) and the technique of hyperpolarization is therefore not particularly useful: by the time the contrast agent is introduced into the system of interest (for instance, a person’s body), the polarization is lost and only a small residual polarization remains. There is a big need for developing materials with long spin relaxation times for use as an MRI contrast agents.

The novelty: Novel solids can be manufactured that result in extremely long T1 times and these materials can make excellent hyperpolarized contrast agents. These novel nanoparticle imaging agents (NIAs) can be attached to macromolecules such as monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to form nano-biological hybrid materials that can be tracked within the body using MRI. The core material is a type of silicon that has been developed for application in the semiconductor industry. Another part of the invention is various techniques that may be used to produce the hyperpolarization of the material prior to introducing it into the biological system or patient. In addition, the technology describes ways to hyperpolarize the nuclei within the nanoparticles once they have reached their site, within the body.

Advantages:
• MRI imaging at resolutions rivaling those of PET scans
• Materials are nonradioactive, non-toxic, inert and highly biologically compatible
• NIAs can be produced, transported, and stored at a lower cost than radiopharmaceuticals
• The NIA platform makes use of the wide availability of conventional MRI machines

Applications: NIAs can be used to track effectiveness of drugs in drug discovery (DD). The NIA-DD market includes biotech and pharmaceutical companies currently pursuing pre-clinical research in mAb-based drugs. The technology can also be used as a clinical diagnostic (CD) for very specific diseases/tumors. NIA could capture 95% of the $2B molecular imaging market by taking advantage of existing MRI facilities.

Status of Development and IP: Several patent applications have been filed and are currently pending.

Harvard Reference: 2572, 2620, 2648 For further information, contact Alan Gordon at 617-384-5000 or email alan_gordon@harvard.edu

Applications NIAs can be used to track effectiveness of drugs in drug discovery (DD). The NIA-DD market includes biotech and pharmaceutical companies currently pursuing pre-clinical research in mAb-based drugs. The technology can also be used as a clinical diagnostic (CD) for very specific diseases/tumors. NIA could capture 95% of the $2B molecular imaging market by taking advantage of existing MRI facilities. For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Alan Gordon Email: alan_gordon@harvard.edu Telephone: (617) 384-5000

Inventor(s): Marcus, Charles M.

Type of Offer: Licensing



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