Technology Bundle ID

Zirconium-89 PET Imaging Agent for Cancer

Research Materials
Lead Inventors
Martin Brechbiel Brechbiel (NCI)
Francois Guerard (NCI)
Yong Lee (CIT)
Development Status

Researchers at the NCI Radiation Oncology Branch  and NIH CIT Center for Molecular Modeling developed a tetrahydroxamate chelation technology that provides a more-stable Zr-89 complex as an immuno-PET cancer imaging agent. In either the linear or the macrocyclic form, the tetrahydroxamate complexes exhibit greater stability as chelating agents compared to Zr-89 complexed to the siderophore desferrioxamine B (DFB), a trihydroxamate, which represents the current state of the art chemistry and the agent currently in clinical use. 

In the Zr-89-DFB imaging agents, Zr-89 dissociates from the chelate, resulting in an increasing radioisotope accumulation in the bone 2-3 days after injection. In vitro studies demonstrate the tetrahydroxamate-chelated Zr-89 remained kinetically inert for seven or more days, thereby reducing the amount of Zr-89 that is released compared to the complex containing DFB.

Commercial Applications
  • PET imaging, especially for cancer and in particular Immuno-PET imaging
Competitive Advantages
  • High stability  with low toxicity

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