New PH Biomarker and Non-Invasive Disease Detection Test Presented at ACC 2016

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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A scientist from the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) recently presented the results of a Phase 2 clinical trial demonstrating PulmoBind biomarker’s safety and the PulmoBind tomography (SPECT) scan’s ability to detect abnormalities in pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients .

The presentation was made at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), which took place in Chicago on April 2–4.

Dr. Jocelyn Dupuis

Dr. Jocelyn Dupuis (Photo courtesy of MHI)

Dr. Jocelyn Dupuis led the team that developed the first sensitive and non-invasive molecular imaging agent designed for the early diagnosis and monitoring of PH. He successfully demonstrated that PulmoBind was capable of effectively replacing tests currently used in clinical trials for early disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring.

“This breakthrough brings great hope to patients with pulmonary hypertension because of the life-changing impact of benefiting from earlier treatment,” said lead researcher, Dr. Dupuis, in a press release.

The team is planning a three-year Phase 3 study of the imaging agent in about 350 PH patients across North America.

PH is a progressive disease that damages the blood vessels of the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath and increasing disability. There is no known cure for PH, and  the development of effective PH drugs has been challenged by the lack of non-invasive tests to diagnose PH at early stages and monitor disease progression.

PulmoBind is a novel radiopharmaceutical product developed by an MHI Nuclear Medicine Department researcher, Dr. François Harel, and a peptide chemist at the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Alain Fournier, PhD.

“There is currently no equivalent to PulmoBind capable of performing a functional imaging of pulmonary circulation. We take pride in this product for which we carried out all stages of development, from the basic research to its human application. We were able to achieve this using the state-of-the-art equipment at the MHI’s Nuclear Medicine Department,” Dr. Harel said.

“This discovery and the development of PulmoBind by Dr. Jocelyn Dupuis and Dr. Francois Harel could truly change the lives of patients with pulmonary hypertension by improving early diagnosis and personalized monitoring. Once again, the Montreal Heart Institute has demonstrated its leadership position in cardiovascular precision medicine with this remarkable advancement,” added Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif,  MHI research center director and a professor of medicine at Université de Montréal, Canada.

A Conversation With Rare Disease Advocates