Vestar seeks to farm out three diagnostic agents

August 12, 1992

Vestar is searching for partners to help market its three diagnosticimaging agents, which use liposome-based targeting technology.The San Dimas, CA, firm had early success in clinical trials withits therapeutic drugs and has been developing a sales force

Vestar is searching for partners to help market its three diagnosticimaging agents, which use liposome-based targeting technology.The San Dimas, CA, firm had early success in clinical trials withits therapeutic drugs and has been developing a sales force tohandle therapeutic sales, said Dr. Paul G. Schmidt, executivevice president of research and development.

Liposome Co., a liposome competitor, filed a patent infringementsuit against Vestar in June related to the company's antifungalagent for AIDS and cancer patients. This litigation has had noeffect on Vestar's effort to license its diagnostic imaging agents,Schmidt said.

In Vestar's development pipeline are three imaging agents inadvanced stages:

  • an indium-111 labeled radiopharmaceutical targetedat tumors;

  • a T1 MRI agent for cancer diagnosis; and

  • a T2 MRI agent for liver imaging and perfusion studies.

Vestar has worked with outside companies in the past, includingMallinckrodt, which was chosen four years ago to market productsin select European markets (SCAN 2/17/88).

The small firm hopes to line up a similar partner experiencedin imaging-agent sales to take over sales of the three agents.Vestar will maintain basic technology and manufacturing rights,Schmidt said.

"We would be licensing broadly across indications, butwe intend to retain aspects of the technology, such as manufacturing,"he told SCAN.

Vestar has been developing protocols for use of diagnosticand therapeutic liposome agents in combination, he said.

"The diagnostic (agent) is very similar to the therapeuticcontaining liposome. It could therefore be used in conjunctionwith the therapeutic for better predictive abilities," hesaid.