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Rodin Therapeutics Launches Clinical Trial of Neuroimaging Tool for Measurement of Synaptic Density

Rodin Therapeutics today announced the launch of a clinical trial to assess the performance of a new PET ligand that can measure synaptic density in the living brain. Insights from the study will guide Rodin’s upcoming Phase 1b trial of a novel therapeutic compound designed to strengthen and increase the number of synapses in patients with neurologic diseases.

The neuroimaging trial uses the novel radioligand [11C]UCB-J, which binds to SV2A, a protein uniquely expressed in synapses. Healthy volunteers and patients with Alzheimer’s disease will have brain PET scans performed following administration of [11C]UCB-J.

Participants enrolled in the trial will be scanned once for a baseline measurement of synaptic density and then again 28 days later. The protocol is designed to assess the repeatability and reproducibility of the brain scan and its utility in future therapeutic studies.

“Most neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are associated with deteriorating synapses — but until now, physicians and researchers have not been able to measure synaptic density in a living patient. This PET scan should allow us to visualize brain synaptic density in patients and possibly track their response to therapies over time,” said J. Michael Ryan, M.D., Rodin’s chief medical officer.

The study is being conducted in the Netherlands at Vrije Universiteit Medical Center in Amsterdam and University Medical Center Groningen. Leading neurologists Peter Paul De Deyn, M.D., Ph.D., who directs the Alzheimer’s Research Center Groningen, and Philip Scheltens, M.D., Ph.D., who directs the Alzheimer’s Center at VUmc, are overseeing the trial.

“Measuring synaptic density in a living human being holds tremendous potential for the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of neurologic diseases. We’re excited to be one of the first research centers to utilize this new imaging technology,” said Dr. De Deyn.

“This tool has the potential to shape future clinical trials by offering an early signal about whether an investigational drug is driving molecular and structural changes in the brain,” Dr. Scheltens said. “We can then take the next step and assess whether those changes lead to functional and cognitive improvements in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.”

About Rodin Therapeutics
Rodin Therapeutics is discovering and developing first-in-class therapeutics for synaptopathies by applying novel chemical strategies to target specific HDAC complexes and upregulate genes critical to learning and memory. Rodin’s targeted approach to strengthening synaptic integrity, backed by a robust translational strategy, has potential across multiple neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia and schizophrenia, all of which are characterized by impaired neuronal and synaptic function. For more information, visit and follow Rodin on Twitter @Rodintx.

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Last Updated: 19-Oct-2018