Maccine and A*STAR Initiate Preclinical Imaging Collaboration

Published: Feb 25, 2011

Singapore, 24 February 2011, Maccine Pte Ltd, a preclinical contract research organisation and Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), a research consortium under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) today announced a collaboration to establish a comprehensive preclinical imaging laboratory. The “Translational Imaging Industrial Lab” (TIIL) will provide global biopharma companies with a state-of-the-art array of preclinical imaging resources directed at enhancing the efficiency and pace of the drug development process.

This collaboration will combine Maccine’s large mammal imaging resources with SBIC’s high-level biomedical imaging expertise and small mammal imaging platforms to offer the pharma community a suite of preclinical imaging services that are unmatched in the global commercial research space.

Preclinical imaging has the potential to drastically enhance the efficiency and accuracy of drug target selection and drug safety or efficacy investigations. Imaging biomarkers can also provide diagnostics and longitudinal indication of disease progression, without the need for invasive testing or surgery.

“Imaging now occupies a vital place in the industrial drug development process but it is a constantly evolving field. This tie-up will allow the latest R&D advances achieved through the laboratories of SBIC to be applied directly to practical questions in drug discovery and development”, said Prof Philip Kuchel, Executive Director of the SBIC.

Currently, there are only four to five CROs in the world providing routine preclinical imaging services to biopharma companies. None of these has the advanced scientific R&D capabilities and imaging expertise to customize protocols outside of the standard imaging platforms.

The partnership between SBIC and Maccine in setting up TIIL will fill this gap. With small animal imaging technologies such as microPET (Positron Emission Tomography), microSPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography)/CT and pre-clinical MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to large mammal imaging technologies including PET, CT, and DEXA (Dual-Emission X-ray Absorptiometry) at TIIL, industry players will now be able to access the entire repertoire of preclinical imaging services all in one location. In addition, TIIL will also allow industry players the option of requesting bespoke preclinical imaging protocols suitable for their specific needs in drug development.

Leigh Berryman, CEO of Maccine, expanded on the collaboration. “We are delighted to be able to offer the state-of-the-art facilities and expertise at SBIC to industry. SBIC and their affiliates at A*STAR comprise some of the most accomplished scientists working in the field today. The combined service offering will allow early establishment of imaging methodologies in the drug development process. This presents the exciting possibility of projecting the efficiencies offered by this technology straight into the clinic.”

Prof Kuchel added, “Such a public-private partnership offers a unique opportunity for A*Star to participate in early drug discovery in collaboration with major pharmaceutical industries. It also allows the drug development world to leverage this resource through the auspices of Maccine, an accomplished leader in translational contract research. More importantly, such a partnership will allow SBIC to continue with its core mandate as a scientific research institution dedicated to developing and publishing enhanced imaging techniques while staying relevant to industrial needs.”

Said Prof. Sir George Radda, Chairman of A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council, “A joint industrial lab of this nature between the public and private sector is the first for the Biomedical Research Council in A*STAR. I am confident that this unique partnership will put A*STAR and Singapore on the world map as a centre for world-class imaging expertise.”


For media queries, please contact:

Maccine Pte Ltd Tel: +65-6622-9540 ext.106 Fax: +65-6778-7305 Email:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Dr. Chang Kai Chen DID: +65 6826 6442 Email:

About Maccine

Maccine is a Singapore-based preclinical contract research organisation providing innovative discovery research and quality safety-assessment services to the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. The primary focus is on creating translational value in the preclinical research space and significant investment in technology, people and science has ensured Maccine’s position at the forefront of global preclinical research.

For more information about Maccine, please visit

About the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC)

The Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) is a research consortium of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. SBIC aims to build a coordinated national programme for imaging research, bringing together substantial strengths in the physical sciences and engineering and those in the biomedical sciences. It seeks to identify and consolidate the various bioimaging capabilities across local research institutes, universities and hospitals, in order to speed the development of biomedical research discoveries. SBIC has built up an extensive network of partners, through collaborations and joint appointments with research institutes, university and clinical departments, and the industry. Its partners include the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, the NUS Chemistry Department, the National Cancer Centre, Duke-NUS, Agilent, Bruker, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Takeda, and Merck.

For more information about SBIC, please visit

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and nine consortia & centres, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

For more information about A*STAR, please visit

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