Technology Bundle ID

Small Molecule Imaging of Fungi by Positron Emission Tomography Scanning

Linked ID
Lead Inventors
Peter Williamson (NIAID)
Dale Kiesewetter (NIBIB)
Jin Qiu (NIAID)
John Panepinto (University of Buffalo)
Development Stages
Development Status
In vivo data available (animal)
This technology relates to the field of radioactive, isotopically-labeled calcofluor derivatives and uses of such compounds to detect a broad spectrum of filamentous fungi including pathogenic species such as Aspergillus and Mucorales, by diagnostic imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

Aspergillosis and other filamentous fungal infections are increasingly common fungal lung infection with high mortality rates (over 50%) in immune compromised patients, such as those receiving chemotherapy, stem cell/organ transplantation, or HIV patients. One-year survival of the infected patients ranges from 59% (organ transplant recipients) to as low as 25% (stem cell transplant recipients). Delayed diagnosis and therapy are likely to lead to poor outcomes and death. This disease is often first detected as nodules on CT scans. A diagnosis is typically made following invasive lung bronchoscopy or biopsy. However, as these patients are immunocompromised, these invasive procedures may themselves lead to significant complications and infections. Therefore, to enable timely treatment and minimize complications, there is a critical need for non-invasive means to detect and diagnose fungal infections.

The calcofluor derivatives disclosed in the patent application may be utilized as imaging agents specific for fungal infections and could potentially become a standard, non-invasive procedure in the work-up of immunocompromised patients with lung infections.
Commercial Applications
  • Diagnostics of Aspergillus and other filamentous fungal infections
Competitive Advantages
  • Non-invasive
  • Low toxicity
  • Specific for Aspergillus

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