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SRI International Awarded National Institute of Mental Health Contract for Evaluation of Brain Imaging Agents and Medications for Treatment of Mental Disorders


10/5/2009 11:30:01 AM

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, announced today that it has been awarded a $6.3 million contract by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to conduct preclinical safety studies of promising novel ligands that will be used for brain imaging research and clinical applications. Ligands are types of molecules that can be used to perform brain imaging through positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

"SRI is pleased to be awarded this important contract to conduct the preclinical safety studies needed to understand whether a compound can eventually be administered to people," said Hanna Ng, Ph.D., director of preclinical safety, SRI International, and principal investigator for the program. "Our multidisciplinary team has experience in safety evaluation and regulatory compliance needed to effectively support the NIMH's preclinical development program for central nervous system imaging agents and therapeutics for various mental disorders."

The preclinical studies will help determine the safety, optimal dosage, and form for delivery of imaging agents and medications for the treatment of mental disorders. Toxicology and safety data generated from this program may be used to support investigational new drug (IND) applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

SRI has extensive experience working with the NIMH in the preclinical development of neuroimaging agents and potential drugs for mental disorders, and has held the contract for this evaluation program since its inception in 2002.

SRI previously performed toxicology and safety studies for 17 imaging ligands, at least 10 of which have gained approval from the FDA for human clinical trials.

About SRI's Biosciences Division

SRI's Biosciences division carries out basic research, drug discovery, and drug development, and provides contract services. SRI has all of the resources necessary to take R&D from "idea to IND"(TM)--from initial discovery to the start of human clinical trials--and specializes in cancer, immunology and inflammation, infectious disease, and neuroscience. SRI's product pipeline has yielded marketed drugs, therapeutics currently in clinical trials, and additional programs in earlier stages. In its CRO business, SRI has helped government and other clients and partners advance well over 100 drugs into patient testing. SRI is also working to create the next generation of technologies in areas such as diagnostics, drug delivery, medical devices, and systems biology.

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. SRI, which was founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 and became independent in 1970, has been meeting the strategic needs of clients and partners for more than 60 years. Perhaps best known for its invention of the computer mouse and interactive computing, SRI has also been responsible for major advances in networking and communications, robotics, drug discovery and development, advanced materials, atmospheric research, education research, economic development, national security, and more. The nonprofit institute performs sponsored research and development for government agencies, businesses, and foundations. SRI also licenses its technologies, forms strategic alliances, and creates spin-off companies. In 2008, SRI's consolidated revenues, including its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation, were approximately $490 million.

SOURCE SRI International

CONTACT: Dina Basin of SRI International, +1-650-859-3845,
dina.basin@sri.com

Web site: http://www.sri.com/


Read at BioSpace.com

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