Technology ID

Boron Amino Acid Mimetics for PET Imaging of Cancer

Lead Inventor
Chen, Xiaoyuan (Shawn) (NIBIB)
Liu, Zhibo (NIBIB)
Software / Apps
Research Materials
Non-Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Therapeutic Areas
Development Stages
Pre-Clinical (in vitro)
Development Status
  • Early-stage
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (animal)
Lead IC
Available for licensing and commercial development as imaging agents for positron emission tomography of cancer are boramino acid compounds. The inventors showed that mimetics created by substituting the carboxylate group (-COO-) of an amino acid with trifluoroborate (-BF3-) are metabolically stable and allow for the use of fluorene-18 (18F) as the radiolabel. Using boroamino acid for 18F-labeling allows for integrating the 18F radiolabel into the core molecular backbone rather than the side-chains thus increasing the agent's target specificity. There is a direct relationship between amino acid uptake and cancer cell replication, where the uptake is extensively upregulated in most cancer cells. This uptake increases as cancer progresses, leading to greater uptake in high-grade tumors and metastases. Amino acids act as signaling molecules for proliferation and may also reprogram metabolic networks in the buildup of biomass. This invention provides for an unmet need for traceable amino acid mimics, including those based on naturally-occurring amino acids, which may be non-invasively detected by imaging technology, including for clinical diagnosis and anti-cancer drug evaluation.
Commercial Applications
  • Cancer imaging
  • Anti-cancer drug development
Competitive Advantages
  • Fluorene-18 labeling
  • Metabolic stability
Licensing Contact:
Shmilovich, Michael