Topic 375: 18F PET Tracer For Imaging PD-L1 (Moonshot)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 75N91018C00027-0-0-0
Agency Tracking Number: N43CA180027
Amount: $299,735.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NCI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
115A Commerce Drive, Brookfield, CT, 06804
DUNS: 966566465
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Backer
 (203) 775-5677
Business Contact
 Joseph Backer
Phone: (203) 775-5677
Research Institution
New therapies, designed to enhance anti-tumor immunity are based on the blockade of the checkpoint components, either PD-1 on immune cells or PD-L1 on tumor cells. This strategy, while being spectacularly successful in some patients for some cancers, fails for many other patients. The expression of PD-L1 is highly dynamic and its prevalence within tumors can vary significantly over time. The current practice of immunohistochemical assessment of PD-1 and PD-L1 prevalence in tumor biopsies is slow and the results may not accurately represent overall PD-L1 prevalence at the time of treatment leading to controversial results. We propose to develop a 18F PET tracer, comprising three 14 kDa soluble ectodomains of PD-1 (ePD-1) multiplexed by site-specific conjugation to a 4-arm polyethylene glycol, with the 4th arm carrying trans-cyclooctene (TCO) for facile click-chemistry conjugation of Tetrazine-NODA/Al18F complex. The advantages of the resulting tracer include a relatively small size, high avidity due to tri-valent binding, and a low level of immunogenicity. We hypothesize that proposed molecular tracer will characterize overall prevalence of PD-L1 in primary tumor and metastatic lesions in a timely, noninvasive manner, thus helping to more accurately identify and monitor patients who are likely to respond to immune checkpoint therapy.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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