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VisEn Launches Next-Generation Fast ('Fluorescence Activatible Sensor Technology') Agent Platform for Expanded Performance in Imaging Disease Biomarkers In Vivo
Date:4/20/2009

MMPSense(TM) 750 FAST is Presented at AACR 100th Annual Meeting

BEDFORD, Mass., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- VisEn Medical Inc., a leader in fluorescence in vivo imaging from research through medicine, announced today the introduction of its new FAST ("Fluorescent Activatible Sensor Technology") imaging agent platform for advanced imaging of key disease-associated biomarkers and drug response in vivo. Newly developed by VisEn Medical, FAST imaging agents are smaller molecule, biocompatible, activatible fluorescent agents that combine increased biomarker specificity with accelerated pharmacokinetics for advanced measurement and monitoring of key disease biomarkers in vivo. The new MMPSense 750 FAST, the first of the FAST agents to be launched by VisEn, was described today in a scientific poster presentation entitled "In vivo imaging of treatment effects using a novel near-infrared labeled agent: MMPSense 750 FAST", at the annual Scientific Sessions of the AACR (American Association of Cancer Research) 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver, CO by Jeffrey D. Peterson, Ph.D., Vice President of Applied Biology at VisEn.

At the AACR 100th Annual Meeting, the Peterson et al study demonstrated the performance of MMPSense 750 FAST as a fast-acting, near-infrared imaging agent to measure tumor MMP activity in vivo and monitor treatment efficacy. In the study, administration of the agent allowed the non-invasive measurement of MMP inhibition using two different chemotherapy regimes. Using the VisEn FMT 2500(TM) quantitative tomography system, tumor fluorescence due to in vivo activation of the agent was clearly detectable as early as 4 hours after injection of the agent with the signal maximizing between 6 and 24 hours. By 96 hours, only 15% of the signal was still present in tumors. "Our study utilized MMPSense 750 FAST as a mechanistic biomarker for therapeutic activity, which was closely associated with tumor progression", said Dr. Peterson. Both of the chemotherapeutics in the study inhibited the MMPSense 750 FAST signal in tumors by 88% and 70%, respectively (p=0.0042 and 0.026) only one day after beginning the treatment, at a time when there was no measurable effect on tumor size--a finding, Dr. Peterson noted, which underscored the ability of these fluorescence agents and FMT imaging to rapidly and non-invasively measure the molecular events associated with tumor progression. "The study demonstrates the potential of near-infrared fluorescence in vivo imaging to non-invasively quantify the underlying biology of tumorigenic processes in real time--performance essential for the assessment of cancer and metastases, as well as the development and monitoring of anticancer therapies," said Dr. Peterson. According to Dr. Peterson, the FAST platform combines an activation site with two internally quenched fluorophores that fluoresce upon cleavage by MMPs in vivo and are then detected and quantified by the VisEn FMT 2500 in vivo imaging system. VisEn's proprietary FMT technology provides non-invasive, whole body, deep tissue imaging in small animal models and generates three dimensional images. VisEn's FMT systems are currently being used by leading researchers and pharmaceutical companies globally for research in oncology as well as inflammatory, pulmonary, cardiovascular and skeletal disease.

The late-breaking poster "In vivo imaging of treatment effects using a novel near-infrared labeled agent: MMPSense 750 FAST," by Peterson et.al., was presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 19, 2009 between 1:00 - 5:00 PM in Hall B-F, Poster Section 13 (#LB-68) of the Denver Convention Center. "VisEn's new FAST agent platform will enable yet another level of imaging performance and versatility by providing increased ranges of biomarker specificity with faster pharmacokinetic profiles," said Kirtland Poss, President and CEO of VisEn Medical. "This enables more versatility in pre-clinical study designs, greater breadth of imaging data and even more biomarker multiplexing for our customers, especially in longitudinal studies of disease progression and therapeutic response."

VisEn's proprietary in vivo imaging agents and labels, including the FAST platform, are designed to provide a robust and broad range of biologically-specific imaging readouts in vivo. VisEn now offers over 25 different fluorescence molecular agents for imaging key disease-associated biologic targets, processes and pathways in vivo, with additional agents expected for launch in 2009. VisEn also offers its specialized in vivo agent labeling platforms, including its proprietary VivoTag(R) fluorescence labeling dyes for custom in vivo agent development and its NanoSpark(R) in vivo labeling nanoparticles, all designed and optimized specifically for superior brightness, biocompatibility, stability and results in in vivo imaging. VisEn's agents and labels are designed to be compatible with a range of fluorescence imaging systems, but are only truly quantifiable on the VisEn FMT 2500 quantitative tomography system. With a focus on translational research and results, all of VisEn's technologies are designed to generate translational data linking pre-clinical research into clinical medicine.

About VisEn Medical Inc.

VisEn's in vivo fluorescence imaging technologies, including its Fluorescence Agent Portfolio and its Fluorescence Molecular Tomographic (FMT(TM)) Imaging Systems provide robust fluorescence molecular imaging performance in identifying, characterizing and quantifying ranges of disease biomarkers and therapeutic efficacy in vivo. VisEn's FMT systems and agents are used by leading research institutions and pharmaceutical companies in applications including cancer research, inflammation, cardiovascular, skeletal and pulmonary disease. The Company also works with large pharmaceutical partners to design ranges of tailored molecular imaging agents and applications that are designed to their specific pre-clinical and clinical research areas. Additional information can be found at www.visenmedical.com.


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