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Rockland Immunochemicals Awarded Phase I SBIR Funding to Develop Novel Agents for Cancer Diagnosis and Targeted Therapy
Date:10/28/2013

Gilbertsville, PA (PRWEB) October 28, 2013

Rockland Immunochemicals Inc. today announced that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NCI/NIH) to develop nanoprobes for in vivo imaging of cancer cells and tumors that express one of the three important cancer therapeutic targets: EGFR, Her2 and Mesothelin. This project is a joint collaboration between Rockland and Abzyme Therapeutics with in vivo imaging consultants from Yale University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Medical imaging is a key component in the clinical management of cancer patients. Cancer imaging agents are used in conjunction with medical imaging equipment and, by highlighting the contrast between normal and malignant tissues, allow the collection of information on cancer presence and progression. Developing novel imaging agents that can be used for imaging and targeted radiotherapy of cancer would greatly enhance the efficacy of the cancer patient management and help usher in a new era of personalized cancer therapy.

According to market research firm Markets and Markets, the global diagnostic imaging market, which stood at $20.7 billion in 2010, is expected to swell to $26.6 billion by 2016. This expected rise is attributed to an aging population, increasing awareness about preventive care, and advancements in the field.

In Phase 1, Rockland and Abzyme Therapeutics will develop, label, and characterize high-affinity single domain antibodies (sdAbs) against EGFR, Her2 and Mesothelin. Under the terms of this grant, Abzyme Therapeutics will develop single domain antibodies and Rockland will be responsible for bioconjugation and in vivo characterization.

“Despite significant scientific progress, very few cancer imaging agents are available in the clinic,” commented Carl A Ascoli, PhD, Laboratory Director at Rockland Immunochemicals
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