Eckert & Ziegler: First patient enrolment for SOMscan®
2014-07-01 / OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH, a development company for radiopharmaceuticals, treated its first patients in a Swiss university hospital as part of the clinical trials for its new diagnostic agent SOMscan®. According to statements by the doctors, the trials proceeded without complication. SOMscan® is used for the diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors and is aimed at providing excellent imaging quality. The phase I/II trials are to be completed by the end of the year.
Co-founder and Managing Director of OctreoPharm Sciences, Dr. Hakim Bouterfa commented: “Our preliminary studies show that SOMscan® is a lot more sensitive than the peptides currently used as it specifically attaches to cancerous tissue and even images very small tumor clusters. If the advantages are confirmed during the clinical trials, neuroendocrine tumors will be able to be detected at a very early stage in future and be treated with a greater likelihood of success”.
The carrier molecule of SOMscan® is a next-generation peptide of antagonistic somatostatin analogues. It was recently awarded the coveted orphan drug status by the European Medicines Agency EMA, which provides the manufacturer with longer exclusivity rights. Depending on the radioisotope used, the agent can be used for both diagnosis and therapy. As part of the so-called “theranostic” approach, the same carrier molecule is first labeled with Gallium-68 and then with Yttrium-90.
The global market volume for the agent for the diagnosis and radiopharmaceutical treatment of neuroendocrine tumors is estimated at over EUR 250 million. Neuroendocrine tumors are usually malignant tumors of the gland cells in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract which metastasize early.
About Eckert & Ziegler
Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG (ISIN DE0005659700), with approximately 700 employees, is one of the world's largest providers of isotope technology for radiation therapy and nuclear medicine.
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