US-based immuno-oncology imaging firm ImaginAb has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop new imaging technology to monitor the anti-tumour activity of the body’s immune system.
The firms will focus on further development of ImaginAb’s CD8 T-cell imaging technology with an imaging agent called CD8 T-cell ImmunoPET.
The new technology will be designed to non-invasively determine CD8 T-cell infiltration into tumours by using positron emission tomography (PET).
Boehringer Ingelheim Translational Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology head professor Florian Gantner said: “Our collaboration with ImaginAb will establish clinical information on the potential of CD8 T-cell imaging to support cancer immunology development.
“It will deliver information on whether the patients’ tumours are inflamed and whether they respond to treatment.”
Clinical studies will initially be conducted to investigate the ability of the imaging agent to non-invasively establish changes in CD8+ T-cell tumour infiltrates that are triggered by immuno-oncological therapies.
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The firms intend to share findings from a clinical trial performed in melanoma patients, who are administered with the standard of care checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Partially funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, the clinical development programme will evaluate changes in the CD8 T-cell imaging agent uptake after initiation of the treatment.
The new technology is expected to aid in the fast development of next-generation cancer immune-therapies, allow better treatment decisions for patients, and enable prediction of patient response to a particular therapy.
ImaginAb plans to form separate alliances with additional pharmaceutical firms using its engineered antibody fragment platform.