Royal Philips Electronics collaborates with Cell>Point — 9|29|03

HOUSTON, Texas – September 29, 2003 – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) announced today that it will collaborate with Cell>Point, L.L.C, a biotechnology company based in Englewood, Colo., to optimize Cell>Point’s novel diagnostic imaging agent on Philips’ SKYLight & gantry-free gamma camera. The companies will share clinical trial costs to develop the best imaging techniques for improved clinical information and accuracy of diagnoses. The joint goal is to develop a cost-effective, readily accessible molecular imaging technology that can help more clinics and hospitals accurately diagnose cancer and pre-screen patients for therapy.
“There is an interdependence between the companies developing molecular imaging technologies and those developing the agents, and close collaboration among these groups is essential for applied molecular imaging to become a reality” said Peter Luyten, director of molecular imaging, for Philips Medical Systems. “Industry acceptance and widespread adoption of molecular imaging technology will depend on the availability of quality images and proven techniques for successfully imaging and detecting disease. The agreement between Philips and Cell>Point represents a new kind of collaboration that can fulfill those requirements and open the door for future agreements of this kind.”
Utilizing clinical trial data, Philips will further develop and refine imaging techniques for SKYLight, the industry’s first and only gantry-free nuclear camera, to determine requirements for the highest possible image quality and quantitative information about patients’ disease.
The agreement will utilize Cell>Point’s ethylenedicysteine drug conjugate technology (“EC Technology”), a unique delivery system that functions as a chemical bridge linking tissue-specific ligands (such as hormones, proteins, peptides, glucose analogues) or pharmaceutical compounds (investigational or FDA-approved drugs) to radioisotopes for cancer diagnosis and treatment. “Essentially, this technology is a universal glue that expands the potential of molecular imaging,” said Luyten.
On the diagnostic side, the companies will collaborate on Cell>Point’s first molecular imaging agent, 99mTc-EC-deoxyglucose . EC Technology allows the deoxyglucose to be labeled (i.e., linked) with the radioisotope Technetium- 99m (” 99mTc”). 99mTc is an excellent radioisotope for diagnostic imaging in nuclear medicine because of its optimal energy for imaging, long half-life, wide availability and ease of use. Radiologists have ready access to 99mTc either from an in-house Molybdinum generator or by unit dose ordering from radiopharmaceutical companies. To date, however, promising molecular imaging agents have not been labeled with 99mTc due to its chemical complexity and the lack of a chemically stable coupler capable of linking it to diagnostic compounds. EC Technology’s chemical stability and versatility will enable the widespread use and availability of 99mTc labeled agents.
The collaboration will utilize 99mTc-EC-deoxyglucose to target tumors and SPECT cameras, including Philips’ nuclear medicine cameras to image them. Tumors absorb more glucose than surrounding tissue, so when a cancer patient is injected with this chemically linked agent (via EC Technology), active tumors will absorb both the glucose and the radioisotope. Several of the medical institutions where further clinical trials will be performed will utilize Philips’ SKYLight cameras and associated analytical software to produce images of the tumors as well as their rate of radioisotope uptake. The information acquired from the SPECT imaging will be used to determine the location and size of the tumors, as well as to predict required therapeutic doses of agents.
“EC Technology-based molecular imaging agents will utilize SPECT cameras to provide a cost-effective, convenient and widespread modality for molecular imaging, and since SPECT cameras are already installed in thousands of clinical departments nationwide, the adoption curve forth is technology should be reasonably quick” said Cell>Point CEO Greg Colip . “Philips has outstanding SPECT technology, and we’re thrilled to strategically align ourselves with them to help advance molecular imaging agents, enabling more facilities to conduct cancer screening.”
The Phase I clinical trial began in April 2003 at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, ranked the nation’s best cancer hospital in 2002 and 2003 by U.S. News & World Report . Philips will review the trial data and determine if adjustments are needed to improve the clinical and diagnostic quality of the images. If necessary, Philips will reprocess the data by optimizing the reconstruction filtering parameters and acquisition protocols for molecular imaging in oncology . This technology can provide significant improvements in the accuracy of diagnosing the presence and the extent of cancer . This agreement can potentially expand into treatments using the same EC Technology to couple a therapeutic radionuclide to a tissue-specific ligand or targeting cancer drug to deliver therapy directly to the tumor site.
Philips’ SKYLight gantry-free nuclear camera removes limitations associated with the floor-based mechanical gantries of existing nuclear medicine cameras. SKYLight’s unique architecture allows gamma detectors to be mounted directly into a room’s structure or ceiling and is particularly beneficial for patients in severe pain and those who cannot move allowing operators to image almost any size patient, in almost any condition, in almost any position . SKYLight operators are not required to leave the patient’s side.
The latest version of SKYLight, SKYLight 2.0, features a unique concurrent imaging capability that allows clinicians to acquire optimal images for molecular agents and drugs/ radiopharmaceuticals simultaneously, providing better quality images for interpretation and significantly reducing imaging time. Concurrent imaging uses a single acquisition data stream to generate up to 16 image sets simultaneously, each with a different energy window setting. The sets can then be processed and converted into clinically useful information.
Cell>Point obtained the worldwide license to EC Technology from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center .