CTT will fine-tune chemistry, while Bayer will work on radiolabeling.

Bayer Pharma is tapping Cancer Targeted Technology to optimize a PET imaging agent using a small molecule inhibitor that recognizes a validated cancer enzyme biomarker. CTT will enhance the chemistry with its tumor-homing scaffold, and Bayer will optimize the radiolabeling efforts needed to advance a lead to clinical development.

Under the terms of the agreement, CTT will receive R&D funding and, if the option is exercised, could receive payments on the achievement of development milestones as well as royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

“CTT has focused its initial endeavors on our unique enzyme inhibitors as ideal delivery agents for diagnostic and therapeutic use in cancer,” states Beatrice Langton-Webster, Ph.D., CTT’s CEO. “We have recently shown that our enzyme inhibitors, discovered by our CSO, Dr. Cliff Berkman, are unique in the field of targeting selected cancer types.”

The firm’s first product, CTT-54, reportedly recognizes prostate specific membrane antigen with unique and unexploited binding characteristics. It is being developed as a prostate cancer diagnostic imaging agent, to detect circulating tumor cells, and for the targeted delivery of radio-, photo-, and chemotherapeutics.

The CTT-54 PET diagnostic can be imaged within a few hours and is expected to specifically and sensitively detect early cancer escaped from the prostate and distal metastatic disease including bone metastases, according to CTT. The company believes that the compound can be used to accurately assess the stage of the disease as well as help determine personalized treatment choices that can be effectively monitored, eliminating the need for watchful waiting. CTT is targeting clinical trials in 2011.

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