December 8, 2009: Lincoln, NE and Portola Valley, CA: LI-COR Biosciences and Spectros Corporation announce a non-exclusive licensing and supply agreement to couple LI-COR Biosciences' IRDye® 800CW to Spectros" proprietary targeted biomarkers, and to develop the targeted fluorescent contrast agents for the real-time imaging and treatment of prostate and ovarian cancers in patients.
Under this agreement, Spectros will formulate ProstaFluor™, an imaging agent for prostate cancer, and pursue pre-clinical toxicity trials for IND approval. LI-COR Biosciences will perform dye synthesis for pre-clinical investigations. Once toxicity studies have been completed, an IND will be filed with the FDA. Spectros will manage the human clinical trials and then market the contrast agent under license.
Prior studies of the combined targeted agent at Vanderbilt University in animals suggest that ProstaFluor is specific for residual and metastatic prostate cancer cells, and is visible in real-time during surgery using an optical imaging camera. IRDye 800CW is a water soluble infrared dye that has been used in a wide variety of published non-clinical research studies for labeling antibodies, proteins, and peptides where there is a need for high signal, low background imaging. The PSMA prostate-specific antibody from Spectros has been humanized and used in human subjects for other purposes with excellent localization without incident.
"I am very excited about our relationship with Spectros as we explore the potential for IRDye 800CW labeled optical probes to be used for imaging prostate and ovarian cancer in patients," says David Dilley, LI-COR Biosciences senior executive vice president and general manager. "IRDye 800CW has been shown through several independent studies to be the superior dye technology for in vivo imaging given its unique chemical properties combined with the documented advantages of operating at the longer infrared wavelengths."
"We are pleased that LI-COR Biosciences recognizes the value of the Spectros targeted-surgery agents and intellectual property," notes Spectros CEO David Benaron. "With this clinical imaging agent, Spectros will move sensitive molecular optical imaging into the operating room, where real-time targeting of surgery will have tremendous benefits for the surgeon and patient."
(Note: Certain applications described above have not been reviewed and approved by the FDA, and are for investigational use only. T-Stat is a registered trademark of the Spectros Corporation. IRDye is a registered trademark of LI-COR, Inc.).
LI-COR Biosciences is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of high quality, innovative instruments, software, reagents, and integrated systems for biotechnology, drug discovery, plant biology and environmental research. Building upon the strengths of its personnel, LI-COR Biosciences has grown to include more than 290 employees at its headquarters in Lincoln, NE and subsidiaries in Bad Homburg, Germany and Cambridge, UK. LI-COR systems are used in over 100 countries worldwide in studies ranging from cancer research to global climate research. LI-COR Biosciences is a privately held company and is ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Spectros markets advanced molecular sensing and imaging devices that shed light on ischemia and cancer. Spectros' lead product, the T-Stat Tissue Oximeter, is the only commercially-available tissue oximeter that utilizes state-of-the-art visible light spectroscopy (VLS) technology. T-Stat was the first medical device approved by the FDA as sensitive to ischemia, an insufficient blood flow to tissue. Spectros is also developing molecular diagnostic tools for cancer currently in pre-clinical and clinical trials. Spectros targeted surgery patents have issued in the US, Europe, and Japan.