SOFIE hosted a FAP session, together with Clovis Oncology and POINT Biopharma, on Sunday, June 12, 2022, that drew standing room only attendance at the annual Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The satellite symposium, titled “FAP Radioligands for Imaging and Therapy” assembled academic researchers and industry sponsors to discuss the latest progress in FAP (fibroblast activation protein) as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for radiopharmaceuticals.
The event was moderated by Professor Johannes Czernin, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA, and kicked off with a presentation on the promise of diagnostic FAPI in oncological diseases by Professor Frederik L. Giesel, MD, MBA, University Hospital Düsseldorf. Professor Jeremie Calais, MD, MSc, University of California, Los Angeles, then provided additional considerations for diagnostic FAPI targeted PET imaging.
Dr. Calais commented, “FAP-targeted PET provides images of activated fibroblasts. In certain cancer types and organs FAP-targeted PET can be highly sensitive for lesion detection. However, FAP-targeted PET signal is not specific of cancer. Therefore clinical trials of diagnostic accuracy must be designed with specific clinical questions in a specific disease stage, and not just “detection of cancer lesions”. Also, the superiority to FDG should not be the main goal as in many clinical situations FDG is not used as imaging modality of reference. “
He further added, “The pan-cancer biomarker indication will be appropriate when a FAP-targeted treatment shows efficacy. FAP-targeted PET signal reflects indirectly the presence of cancer cells via the cancer associated fibroblasts. On the other hand, there are many non-oncological diseases that involve directly the activated fibroblasts. FAP-targeted PET may be a very valuable imaging tool in these by targeting directly the disease biological process (unlike the indirect targeting of the cancer lesions via the CAFs).”
Following Dr. Calais, Professor Wolfgang Fendler, MD, Essen University Hospital, in a pre-recorded lecture, spoke on FAP-directed radioligand therapy and Professor Giesel returned to discuss FAPI-46 in oncology.
Exciting developments in FAPI clinical trials were shared by Sherly Mosessian, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at SOFIE Biosciences, and Elcin Zan, MD, Director of Nuclear Theranostics at New York University, provided specific updates on the first prospective diagnostic trial in the United States using FAPI-46 PET for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Lastly, Geoffrey Johnson, MD, PhD, Chair of the Division of Nuclear Medicine at Mayo Clinic, gave an update on the NIH-funded Mayo Clinic-SOFIE partnership on imaging PDAC.
The FAP-agnostic session also featured industry participants POINT Biopharma and Clovis Oncology. Robin Hallett, PhD, VP of Discovery and Translational Sciences at POINT Biopharma, presented a talk on the novel FAP targeting small molecule ligand PNT6555. Curt Wolfgang, PhD, VP of Clinical Development at Clovis Oncology, provided an overview of the Phase 1/2 LuMIERE study evaluating 177Lu-FAP-2286 for treating patients with advanced solid tumors.
The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Professor Czernin and featuring Professors Giesel and Calais, and Drs. Hallett and Wolfgang
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