June 20, 2016, Lincoln, Nebraska: With a goal to provide early stage detection of cancer using human imaging, QVQ in The Netherlands is developing pre-clinical techniques combining a small, high affinity single domain antibody fragment (VHH) from camelids with a novel near-infrared dye from Nebraska-based LI-COR Biosciences.
"VHH directed against growth factor receptors are excellent tools for cancer research and diagnostic applications," says Prof Theo Verrips, QVQ chief executive officer. "Due to the small size of the VHH, they distribute deeply and evenly throughout solid tumor, where larger antibodies only reach the boundaries of the solid tumor."
Combined with the LI-COR IRDye infrared dye technology, the QVQ research seeks to provide improved delineation of cancer tissue from surrounding, healthy tissue in patients. "Conventional antibodies have a long uptake in humans resulting in a several day wait and less contrast before imaging is possible while VHH are cleared extremely fast leading to the potential for same day or next day imaging," says Edward Dolk, QVQ, development and sales manager.
LI-COR Biosciences has licensed its IRDye technology to QVQ for pre-clinical development phase of their technology for cancer research. "Working together with probe development for cancer imaging is just another step towards integrating near-infrared fluorescence for intra-operative surgery," says Bambi Reynolds, Sr. Business Development and Intellectual Property Manager. These IRDye labeled VHH's are now currently available for the US research market. For more information on these probes, please contact the LI-COR Business Development group for availability.