Aposense Ltd., a molecular imaging and drug development company, leading the translation of the science of apoptosis (programmed cell death) into clinical practice, today announced a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to evaluate the potential of Aposense's PET tracer ML-10 in monitoring drug activity in clinical studies of cancer therapies. The project is intended to assess the contribution of ML-10 in accelerating clinical development of cancer therapies.
"We are pleased to be working with GSK and view this collaboration as another important step towards making molecular imaging of apoptosis available to noninvasively monitor and potentially personalize anti-cancer therapy," said Yoram Ashery, CEO of Aposense. "Imaging drug activity in patients and early assessment of its biological effect may help accelerate the development of cancer therapies and reduce development costs."
The increase in costs of developing a new oncology drug today, which are estimated at US$1.7 billion or more, has been driven mainly by the rising cost of clinical trials and high-attrition rates between phase I trials and approval. Improving the efficiency of this long and expensive process is inhibited in-part by the lag-time for assessing drug effect with current methods, and the lack of biological information on pharmacological activity of new agents in vivo.
Molecular imaging has recently been recognized as a potential answer to this challenge, due to its ability to non-invasively detect and visualize biological processes in vivo. The Aposense ML-10 probe has great promise for directly addressing these challenges by imaging apoptosis (programmed cell death), a biological process intrinsic to the mechanism of many anti-cancer therapies.
The initial term of the nonexclusive collaboration is for two years and can be extended on certain conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.