Small Molecule Imaging of Fungi by Positron Emission Tomography Scanning

This technology relates to the field of radioactive, isotopically-labeled calcofluor derivatives and uses of such compounds to detect a broad spectrum of filamentous fungi including pathogenic species such as Aspergillus and Mucorales, by diagnostic imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

Aspergillosis and other filamentous fungal infections are increasingly common fungal lung infection with high mortality rates (over 50%) in immune compromised patients, such as those receiving chemotherapy, stem cell/organ transplantation, or HIV patients. One-year survival of the infected patients ranges from 59% (organ transplant recipients) to as low as 25% (stem cell transplant recipients). Delayed diagnosis and therapy are likely to lead to poor outcomes and death. This disease is often first detected as nodules on CT scans. A diagnosis is typically made following invasive lung bronchoscopy or biopsy. However, as these patients are immunocompromised, these invasive procedures may themselves lead to significant complications and infections. Therefore, to enable timely treatment and minimize complications, there is a critical need for non-invasive means to detect and diagnose fungal infections.

The calcofluor derivatives disclosed in the patent application may be utilized as imaging agents specific for fungal infections and could potentially become a standard, non-invasive procedure in the work-up of immunocompromised patients with lung infections.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Diagnostics of Aspergillus and other filamentous fungal infections
  • Non-invasive
  • Low toxicity
  • Specific for Aspergillus

Development Stage:
In vivo data available (animal)


Peter Williamson (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Dale Kiesewetter (NIBIB)  ➽ more inventions...

John Panepinto

Jin Qiu (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
PCT Pat: 9,968,693 issued 2018-05-15
US Pat: 10,383,960 issued 2019-08-20
US Application No. 15/030,554 filed on 2016-04-19
US Application No. 15/961,554 filed on 2018-04-24
and various international patent applications

Palmer GE, et al. PMID 18927489
Panepinto JC, et al. PMID 12704156
Desoubeaux D, et al. PMID 24548415

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize for development of this invention. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Dr. David Yang at 240-627-3413 or

Licensing Contact:
David (Po-Lung) Yang, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-496-2644

OTT Reference No: E-449-2013-0
Updated: Feb 13, 2017