June 15, 2007 - Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. announced that a preclinical study presented at at the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) Annual Meeting was selected as the 2007 Small Animal Image of the Year, showing a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image of a rat pancreas following injection with AV-133, a molecular imaging agent.
The image highlighted the presentation entitled: “F-18 FP-DTBZ: An Investigational PET Ligand for Measuring Beta Cell Mass in the Pancreas,” with Drs. Mei-Ping Kung and Hank Kung as primary investigators. This study showed that AV-133, targeting the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2), is potentially useful for measurement of beta cell mass and for studying the pathogenesis of diabetes.
Declines in the number of beta cells in the pancreas are evident prior to the onset of diabetes and may be a useful early marker for increased risk of developing Type I or Type II diabetes. The amount of vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2), which is expressed by the beta cells of the pancreas, may reflect beta cell mass. Molecular imaging of beta cells using a VMAT2-targeted compound has the potential to detect losses in beta cells before a diagnosis of diabetes is possible by current methods. This may make it possible to identify individuals who are at elevated risk of developing diabetes to receive earlier treatment, and allow for monitoring of new treatments designed to preserve beta cells.
There are 20.8 million children and adults with diabetes in the United States alone (7 percent of the population). Diabetes mellitus (DM) is on the rise globally and is associated with an increased risk for serious, life-threatening complications including heart disease and stroke. Proactive disease control can help reduce risk; however, many people are not aware that they are at risk of diabetes until they develop one of its complications.
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