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Molecular Therapeutics, Inc. (MRx) commercializes breakthrough discoveries of new capabilities and technologies for imaging previously invisible biological processes such as signal transduction, angiogenesis, apoptosis (proteases), carcinogenesis and other biologically relevant processes important in human disease.
Molecular Imaging is a concept which provides a novel paradigm for drug discovery and the validation of specific molecular and therapeutic targets both in-vitro and in-vivo. MRx's proprietary technologies will provide novel capabilities for screening drugs targeting a broad range of physiological and disease processes.
MRx's goal and strategy are to utilize its proprietary platform technology to develop a range of products, which will be commercially promoted by implementing a unique business model and creating multiple corporate partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Molecular Imaging Technologies
Under an exclusive worldwide license from the University of Michigan, MRx owns the rights to several technology platforms comprising of numerous intellectual assets, with multiple patents pending. The technology underlying the Company's strategy constitutes a major paradigm shift in the field of diagnostic imaging and monitoring of therapeutic response. MRx's technologies are based on novel and fundamental breakthrough discoveries including:
1) A recombinant DNA molecule that in the presence of specific proteolytic activity, becomes functionally active. This molecule can be engineered to "report" on the presence of a wide-variety of proteases in-vitro and in-vivo. Many different reporters can be used allowing this product to be adapted for use with PET, MRI, or optical-based imaging modalities.
2) A recombinant DNA molecule that targets reporter proteins to neo-vasculature. This molecule can be used to detect the presence of angiogenic activity that typically exists within tumors thus allowing this molecule to act as a reporter for the presence of primary and secondary (metastatic) tumors.
3) An ability to quantitatively and noninvasively monitor the early response of tumors to treatment using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This technology will provide an early indication of treatment efficacy of current therapies as well as novel investigational treatments.
MRx's technologies for the imaging of biological processes has implications for the diagnosis and treatment of many disease processes. For example, in the area of oncology, diffusion MRI provides an early indication of the effectiveness of treatment within days to weeks, thus providing a window for alternate therapeutic approaches. Since many cancers are resistant to first line therapies, the ability to obtain early feedback on the effectiveness of the treatment will be a fundamental breakthrough for the clinical management of cancer patients. Evaluation of treatment efficacy currently takes between 3-6 months and MRx's approach will allow patients found to be un-responsive to treatment the ability to alter the treatment within days to weeks following treatment initiation.
Noninvasive detection of proteolytic activity in intact animals provides the opportunity to evaluate therapeutic efficacy of compounds that for example, either induces or inhibits apoptosis by the measurement of caspase activity. Since proteases also play a major role in the process of metastasis, the ability to non-invasively detect proteases involved in tumor invasion and migration enabling the detection of metastatic tumors and also enable the evaluation of therapeutic compounds.
The ability to image angiogenesis using MRx's technology will provide a novel method to evaluate tumor metastasis but also provides a unique way to evaluate recently developed anti-angiogenic molecules.
MRx's concepts opens novel windows of opportunity for the development and screening of innovative target drugs for numerous human diseases.
Imaging technologies are complex and expensive and most companies do not have the technical nor financial resources to utilize such approaches in their research efforts. Coupled with this is the lack of imaging reagents and transgenic animals for testing specific molecular targets during the drug discovery and development process. MRx provides services to companies or academic institutions which includes both in vitro and in vivo analysis using MRI and x-ray CT.
MRx's management team possesses extensive and complementary expertise in a broad spectrum of relevant biotechnology R&D disciplines including molecular biology and imaging sciences. The Company's management team consists of the following key personnel:
Brian D. Ross, Ph.D.
Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 06-05-02