Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Making Strides Toward Clinical Trial Milestone

Posted by | March 31, 2010

Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Making Strides Towards Clinical MilestonesI frequently attribute Safeguard Scientifics’ success to our disciplined strategy built on five strategic themes, which we refer to as M2C3. We leverage these themes by providing growth capital that makes us a partner with companies that exhibit many of the characteristics of successful businesses — vision, focus, and people.

Avid Radiopharmaceuticals and its president and CEO, Daniel M. Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., are typical of these unique combinations. This past week, Avid announced that more than 100 clinical centers and more than 700 patients have now participated in a Phase III clinical trial that the company is conducting in partnership with Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH). This clinical trial is testing whether Avid’s molecular imaging agent Florbetapir F 18 (also known as 18F AV-45 and Florbetapir) can detect Alzheimer’s disease in living patients. Florbetapir is used with positron emission tomography (PET) technology to detect beta-amyloid plaque deposits in the brain.

When we first met Dan, we were very impressed with his VISION to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and more accurately; his FOCUS on using molecular imaging agents to identify beta-amyloid plaque deposits in the brain, which are a characteristic pathology of the disease; and his assembly of a talented group of PEOPLE to help realize the VISION.

The population of the United States is aging (maturity = a major Safeguard growth strategy theme). As a result, Avid has the potential to address a population of over nine million people with cognitive impairment in the United States alone by 2020. If Alzheimer’s disease could be identified in patients earlier and more accurately, it would significantly improve the opportunity for effective therapies.

Dan is an extremely bright and talented leader. Safeguard, along with syndicate partners AllianceBernstein, Alta Partners, BioAdvance, Lilly Ventures, Pfizer Strategic Investments Group, and RK Ventures, provided Avid with growth capital, which Dan has used to drive his vision closer to reality. Dan’s singular focus on the opportunities of molecular imaging agents has enabled Avid to create a value proposition that we think is very unique in the diagnostic industry. In addition to Florbetapir, Avid has also developed additional, novel imagining agents, including those now in Phase II and I trials, respectively, with 18F-AV-133 for imaging the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2) in diseases involving dopaminergic degeneration (Parkinson’s disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies) and beta cell dysfunction (Type I and Type II Diabetes Mellitus).

Avid has become the leader in the development of molecular imaging products with the potential for earlier and more effective detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of major chronic human diseases. We look forward to seeing the company reach its milestone this year.

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