Metasyn prepares trials for MRI agent

MRI contrast developer Metasyn is assembling a team of scientificexperts to shepherd the company's first contrast agent throughclinical trials. The Cambridge, MA, company this month said ithad named several of radiology's leading lights to head the

MRI contrast developer Metasyn is assembling a team of scientificexperts to shepherd the company's first contrast agent throughclinical trials. The Cambridge, MA, company this month said ithad named several of radiology's leading lights to head the effort.

Metasyn is a development-stage company that was founded in1992. Its first product is MS-325, a gadolinium-based agent forMR angiography of coronary and peripheral arteries.

The company plans to begin phase I clinical trials of MS-325later this year, and has named Dr. Stanley Crooke as chairmanof its scientific advisory board. Crooke was founder of Isis Pharmaceuticalsand served as president of R&D at SmithKline & FrenchLaboratories.

Metasyn also named Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical veteran JamesSmith as head of chemical, analytical, and clinical development.Smith previously was senior director of radiopharmaceutical R&Dat Du Pont and oversaw the development of Cardiolite, Neurolite,and other Du Pont agents.

Another appointment to MS-325's development team includes Dr.Kent Yucel, previously director of MRI at Boston University MedicalCenter. Yucel was a principal investigator in a phase III trialof MRI contrast agent ProHance. In addition, Dr. Stephen Knight,previously a senior manager of corporate and R&D strategicplanning at Arthur D. Little Inc., has been tapped to head Metasyn'sstrategic planning and development initiatives.

Metasyn believes that MS-325 could help MRI replace other modalitiesin cardiac assessment studies, such as echocardiography with contrastor nuclear medicine studies, according to Michael Webb, presidentand CEO.

"This will allow cardiologists to do a one-stop-shop comprehensivecardiac exam of structure, function, and physiology," Webbsaid. "It's the Holy Grail for cardiology."