Spago readies gadolinium-free MRI agent for trials

Spago Nanomedical is reportedly making progress toward proof-of-concept clinical trials in 2018 for its novel gadolinium-free MRI contrast agent designed to target tumors.

Called Spago Pix, the agent is based on a nanomaterial consisting of a hydrogel with strongly chelated manganese ions and an attached polyethylene glycol (PEG) surface layer.

Swedish researchers conducted a preclinical study, published in PLOS One in 2014, which found that the company's technology greatly enhanced MR images of mice, as the agent selectively accumulated at tumor sites.

Subsequent research has found reduced uptake of contrast in normal tissue and fewer false positives, along with greater specificity and signal strength compared with currently available gadolinium-based contrast agents, according to the company.

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