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Progenics’ Small Molecule Diagnostic 1404


Progenics’ molecular imaging radiopharmaceutical product candidate 1404 targets the extracellular domain of prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a protein amplified on the surface of >95% of prostate cancer cells and a validated target for the detection of primary and metastatic prostate cancer. 1404 is labeled with technetium-99m, a gamma-emitter isotope that is widely available, relatively inexpensive, facilitates efficient preparation, and has spectrum characteristics attractive for nuclear medicine imaging applications.

Molecular medicine targets disease at the molecular level to advance patient care through timely and accurate detection, improved treatment and effective monitoring of therapeutic response and disease progression.


Medical imaging is a non-invasive means of obtaining a picture of the internal structure and workings of the human body. Currently, the most common methods of visualizing disease provide images of anatomy and include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), fluoroscopy, Computed Axial Tomography (CAT scan or CT scan), X-ray, and ultrasound. These methods have limited utility in patients at early stages of disease when gross anatomical changes are not yet evident, in patients who have undergone surgical procedures to treat their disease and anatomy is difficult to assess, or in patients who have systemic disease where the precise locations are unknown.

Molecular imaging differs from anatomical medical imaging in that radioactive drugs are used to detect disease through visualization of physiology and biochemistry, giving physicians’ better insight into the disease process. This is markedly different from anatomical imaging and has opened up additional applications for detecting the presence, location and quantity of disease throughout the body. Such images provide vital information related to the diagnosis and extent of disease, prognosis and, ultimately, therapeutic management options.


Progenics’ is developing radiolabeled small molecules that bind to specific receptors, enzymes and proteins in the body that are altered during the evolution of disease. After administration to a patient, these molecules circulate in the blood until they find their intended target. The bound radiopharmaceutical remains at the site of disease, while the rest of the agent clears rapidly from the body. The radioactive portion of the molecule serves as a beacon so that an image may be obtained depicting the disease location and concentration using commonly available nuclear medicine cameras, known as single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET) cameras, found in most hospitals throughout the world. Physicians can then use this information to determine the presence and the extent of disease in a patient, resulting in optimal patient and disease management.