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Radiopharmaceutical for Diagnostic Cardiac Imaging

MCW #1284


 Key Inventor

Ming Zhao, PhD


Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin has demonstrated the unique imaging properties of 99mTc-duramycin which could meet the demanding criteria for a safe and accurate diagnostic cardiac imaging agent. Comprised of 19 amino acids, duramycin is the smallest known polypeptide with a defined 3-dimensional binding structure. Duramycin binds phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdE) at a 1:1 ratio with high affinity and exclusive specificity. PtdE is externalized to the surface of apoptotic cells and is also accessible in necrotic cells making it an ideal biomarker candidate for detection of acute coronary artery disease. This novel radiopharmaceutical has demonstrated favorable pharmacokinetic and biodistribution profiles in vivo with fast blood clearance and low hepatic and gastrointestinal uptake and allows prompt and conspicuous imaging within minutes after injection (Figure 1). In addition, 99mTc-duramycin has shown utility for binding to atherosclerotic plaque (Figure 2) demonstrating its broad applicability and potential as an ideal imaging agent for the detection of acute coronary artery disease.    










Among acute coronary syndrome (ACS) cases, the ones with atypical symptoms pose a significant challenge in emergency medicine. An imaging technique that can expedite, with specificity, the diagnosis of equivocal ACS cases could facilitate the management of chest pain in patients and provide further insight in understanding heart diseases. Imaging of acute cell death with a novel radiopharmaceutical, 99mTc-duramycin, allows for the rapid assessment (<3 hours) of heart tissue damage during cardiac infarction. The ability to discriminate cardiac infarction from other non-threatening maladies allows the patient to be released from the hospital instead of waiting up to 24 hours in a hospital bed awaiting laboratory results.


- Diagnose cardiac infarction in <3 hours 

- Images necrotic and apoptotic cardiac tissue as well as atherosclerotic plague 

- Excellent biodistribution and pharmacokinetic properties 

- Low toxicity and immunogenicity 

- Compatible with standard nuclear imaging platforms (SPECT, Planar, Gated)

 Stage of Development

Preclinical studies in mouse, rat, dog and pig.

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Summary Information

Patent Status:

Molecule Type:
Small Molecule

Patent Coverage Type:
Method of Use

Geographical Coverage:
US Patent
Worldwide Patent

Related Areas of Interest:
Cancer, Cardiovascular


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