Bridwell is quoted in the Newsline article as stating, Once anthrax spores were discovered in the United States, there was a real urgency to scour the various methods that currently exist to determine whether any offered promise in the early diagnosis of anthrax infection. As of the date of this press release, no patients have been imaged. The good news is we currently dont have patients who need to be part of this protocol, said Bridwell. The better news is that we have additional testing opportunities to try should the need arise.
Newsline notes that an Investigational New Drug (IND) approval was granted for the trial in two to three weeks, which may be record time. Individuals from academic medicine, the military, government agencies, and industry worked together to secure the IND.
Palatin Technologies (Princeton, NJ) is the maker of the radiolabeled antibody product, Leutech, that will be used in the WRAMC investigation and is the company to which the IND was granted. Newsline notes that Palatin is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company that began work with what would become known by the trade name of LeuTech in 1996. The 99mTc-labeled monoclonal antibody binds with high affinity and specificity to a carbohydrate antigen, CD-15, on human polymorphonuclear leukocytes in vivo. This ability means that, once a small amount of the radiolabeled antibody is injected, it binds to white blood cells congregating at the site of even the earliest infections and makes them apparent on nuclear medicine imaging. The technique has been tested successfully in functional imaging of other infections, including appendicitis, osteomyelitis, bowel infections, and postsurgical infection.
In the article, Mathew Thakur, PhD, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Thomas Jeffe
Contact: Karen Lubieniecki
Society of Nuclear Medicine