October 16, 2014
Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for newly developed aryliodonium ylide chemistry which has been demonstrated to provide significant advantages in the synthesis of radiopharmaceutical agents. An agreement has also been reached for a research collaboration to advance the use of the new technology in radiopharmaceutical development in support of biomedical research and clinical use. As part of this agreement, Ground Fluor has the rights to commercialize the new chemical technology.
"This agreement provides Ground Fluor with an important opportunity to expand its expertise in aryliodonium chemistry and radiopharmaceutical development by providing new chemistry which has already been validated for the production of difficult to synthesize radiopharmaceuticals. " stated Dr. Allan Green, President and CEO of Ground Fluor.
Currently, those who practice nuclear medicine face challenges in the preparation of a broad range of desired imaging biomarkers. Biomedical research, pharmaceutical development, and clinical practice depend on such imaging biomarkers. In their Nature Communications publication (2014 Jul 9;5:4365) the MGH authors B.H. Rotstein, N.A. Stephenson, N. Vasdev and S.H. Liang said that the new chemistry provides "an effective solution that relies on the chemistry of spirocyclic hypervalent iodine(III) complexes, which serve as precursors for rapid, one-step regioselective radiofluorination with [(18)F]fluoride. This methodology proves to be efficient for radiolabelling a diverse range of non-activated functionalized arenes and heteroarenes, including arene substrates bearing electron-donating groups, bulky ortho functionalities, benzylic substituents and meta-substituted electron-withdrawing groups."
The MGH group has since translated this technology from preparing labeled compounds to synthesizing radiopharmaceuticals suitable for human use. MGH is a world leader in molecular imaging research and education, translational medicine, and a major center for patient care.
April 17, 2014
Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing new diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceutical agents using its proprietary, innovative iodonium and cyclophane chemistries, has announced the closing of its first private financing round. This financing by Cedarville Investments, Ltd., a company affiliated with the Leducq Foundation Trust that invests in innovative health technology, was closed following the recent receipt of a Phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation.
“This private closing supports our continued progress with the development and GMP manufacture of precursors for the reliable, simple, and economic on-site synthesis of final Positron Emission Tomographic (PET) drug products, such as 18F-FluoroDOPA, 18F-fluorophenylalanine and 18F-fluorodopamine, as well as high specific activity 131I-mIBG” said Dr. Kiel Neumann, Ground Fluor Pharma’s Associate Director of Research and Development.
Dr. Stephen DiMagno, a co-founder of Ground Fluor and a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, added: "We are grateful for the support of the National Science Foundation and our colleagues at Cedarville Investments for their support, which will allow us to make this technology available for clinical use."
"This private funding, which builds on previous support by the NSF and the State of Nebraska, strengthens Ground Fluor, and takes us to the next step where we can provide our initial products to clinicians, and continue to pursue other ongoing research activities," said Dr. Allan Green, Chief Executive Officer of Ground Fluor. "With this focus on implementation, we can achieve our business goals and position Ground Fluor as a leading provider of novel imaging agents and synthetic methods for biomedical research and development and for improved clinical imaging services in support of patient care."
April 3, 2014
Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (GFP) has received a $726,000 National Science Foundation Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to expand the research and product development of its novel proprietary chemistry for the production of 18F-fluoroDOPA—a PET imaging agent intended for the diagnosis and management of brain tumors (such as astrocytomas and gliomas) and for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. This latest grant adds to the more than $275,000 of NSF SBIR funds and State of Nebraska matching funds awarded for this research since 2011. Principal Investigator on the Grant is Dr. Kiel Neumann, Associate Director of Research and Development at Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals.
Since its establishment in 2012, GFP has been dedicated to the discovery and development of new chemistry and reagents for improved medical imaging and for radiotherapy of serious diseases. This award will permit the GMP manufacture and distribution of a novel diaryliodonium intermediate for the efficient and reliable production of 18F-fluoroDOPA for research and clinical use throughout the world. This commitment has placed GFP at the forefront of new PET imaging agent research and supply.
The use of iodonium chemistry for medical purposes has been a research focus at GFP for since its founding. Specifically, research in the area of production and stabilization of diaryliodonium salts has led to the discovery and commercialization of new tools for the reliable and economically efficient production of new PET imaging agents such as 18F-fluoroDOPA, 18F-fluorophenylalanine and 18F-mFBG. Chemical intermediates for the production of those agents are now available from GFP on its website at www.gfpharma.com. This latest NSF SBIR grant award enables further research in this area and the first GMP production of chemical intermediates suitable for use in human studies.
"GFP translated basic research into the development of new tools for molecular imaging and therapy," states Dr. Stephen DiMagno, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and a Founder of GFP. "The need for improved medical imaging to support individualized diagnosis and management of disease has never been greater,” said Dr. Allan Green, President and CEO of Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals. “We are committed to continuing this discovery and development process and to advancing the work required to make the results of this research available to patients and physicians worldwide."