Radiolabeled Analogs of Cyclopamine for Imaging Hedgehog Signaling

Description (Set) The hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is increasingly recognized as an important therapeutic target in cancer. When Hh signaling goes awry patients may develop a wide variety of tumors including medulloblastoma, glioblastoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, among others. In addition, targeting the Hh pathway with inhibitors such as cyclopamine has been shown to deplete tumors of their stem cell population thereby inhibiting their growth. Cyclopamine binds to the transmembrane protein smoothened, a component of the Hh pathway, effecting inhibition of the pathway. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University have generated radiolabeled analogs of cyclopamine that demonstrate specific uptake in Hh+ cells and may be useful in imaging smoothened in vivo. Proposed Use (Set) The commercial potential for this invention includes: 1) the ability to image hedgehog signaling in vivo (including in patients), 2) therapeutic monitoring of Hh signalling upon treatment with suitable Hh inhibitors, and 3) potential to image cancer stem cells. Furthermore, the imaging agent can easily be converted to a therapeutic agent by merely converting the radionuclide used for imaging to one for therapy.

Inventor(s): Pomper, Martin Gilbert ,Mease, Ronnie C.,Wang, Haofan

Type of Offer: Licensing

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