"Accurate diagnosis and the ability to properly assess the true extent and aggressiveness of prostate cancer are fundamental to appropriate therapeutic management of the disease," said John W. Babich, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Molecular Insight and an author on the study. "Treatment of prostate cancer is challenging, and the effects of treatment may substantially impact a man's quality of life for many years. Therefore, it is crucial that those faced with difficult clinical questions make the right decisions."
"We believe PSMA represents an exceptional target for the molecular imaging of prostate cancer due to its near 100% expression in the disease. Our preclinical studies suggest that MIP-1072 can identify the presence of prostate tumors specifically and non-invasively by targeting PSMA expression on prostate cancer cells. A PSMA-targeted molecular imaging pharmaceutical such as MIP-1072 may lead to improvements in the staging of prostate cancer patients and may represent a unique opportunity to risk stratify patients and monitor response to therapy," he added.
The Society of Nuclear Medicine recognized th e paper, "Molecular Targeting of Prostate Cancer with Small Molecular Inhibitors of Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen," with the 2007 Berson-Yalow Award. The award, which is given to the investigator who has submitted the most original scientific abstracts and made the most significant contributions to basic or clinical radioassay, was presented to John Joyal, Ph.D., Director, Biology at Molecular Insight and presenting author of the paper. SNM honored Molecular Insight with a commemorative plaque in a presentation ceremony on June 3rd.
Dr. Babich commented, "Molecular Insight is extremely honored to receive the prestigious Berson-Yalow Award. It testifies to the scientific leadership of Molecular Insight and underscores the company's ability to use our screening and radiolabeling expertise to design, synthesize and evaluate small molecules as potential molecular imaging pharmaceuticals; in this case, for the detection, staging and prognosis of prostate cancer."
In data presented at the meeting, the researchers demonstrated that MIP-1072 binds with high affinity to the PSMA protein on the cancer cell surface and that it is internalized into prostate cancer cells. In vivo, human prostate cancer xenograft studies demonstrated that MIP-1072 was present in high concentration in tissues expressing PSMA, but not in tissues where it is absent. The studies also demonstrated a favorable imaging window of two to six hours retention post-injection. Authors on the study are K.P. Maresca, Ph.D.; S.M. Hillier, Ph.D.; F.J. Femia, Ph.D.; C. Barone, J.L. Joyal, Ph.D.; C. N. Zimmerman, Ph.D.; J.A. Barrett, Ph.D.; W.C. Eckelman, Ph.D.; and J.W. Babich, Ph.D., of Molecular Insight; and C.A. Foss, Ph.D.; and M.G. Pomper, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University.
About the Berson-Yalow Award
The Berson-Yalow Award, for outstanding scientific abstract in nuclear medicine radiopharma-ceutical sciences, commemorates the work of Rosalyn S. Yalow, Ph.D., and the l ate Solomon A. Berson, M.D., who together developed the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique in the 1950s. The Award was established by SNM in 1977, the same year that Dr. Yalow received the prestigious Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in acknowledgement of the RIA breakthrough. The objective of the Berson-Yalow Award is to honor investigators who submit the most original scientific abstracts and make the most significant contributions to basic or clinical radioassay. In 1987, the SNM Scientific Program Committee expanded its criteria to include all research that made use of the indicator-dilution method. Categories such as neurology, oncology and radiopharmaceutical chemistry, in addition to radioassay, fall under the new criteria. The Berson-Yalow Award is traditionally presented at the Annual Business Meeting/2nd Plenary Session each June.
About Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MIPI) is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the emerging field of molecular medicine, applying innovations in the identification and targeting of disease at the molecular level to improve healthcare for patients with life-threatening diseases. The company is focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative and targeted radiotherapeutics and molecular imaging pharmaceuticals with initial applications in the areas of oncology and cardiology. Its lead targeted radiotherapeutic product candidates, Azedra and Onalta, are being developed for detection and treatment of cancer. The company's lead molecular imaging pharmaceutical product candidate, Zemiva, is being developed for the diagnosis of cardiac ischemia, or insufficient blood flow to the heart. In addition, the company has a growing pipeline of product candidates resulting from application of its proprietary platform technologies to new and existing compounds. Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and its website addres s is: www.molecularinsight.com.
Statements in this release that are not strictly historical in nature constitute "forward-looking statements." Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the development of Azedra(TM), Onalta (TM), Zemiva(TM) and our other product candidates. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the actual results of Molecular Insight to be materially different from historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to the progress, timing, cost, and results of clinical trials and product development programs; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approval for product candidates; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; and the additional risks discussed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Molecular Insight undertakes no obligation to revise or update this news release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Priscilla Harlan, 617-492-5554
Vice President, Corporate Communications
& Investor Relations