Lutetium labelled ethylenedicysteine (EC) amifostine (177Lu-EC-Amifostine), is a theranostic agent, being developed by Cellpoint for detection and treatment of COVID-2019 infections, by using EC drug conjugate platform. The company has in-licensed the EC platform from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, wherein tissue specific ligands or pharmaceutical compounds are linked to cold metals or radioisotopes. Upon targeted delivery, EC-Amifostine which is an organic thiophosphate with oxygen scavenging activity, metabolised by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) present on neutrophil surface in the lungs to an active thiol analog, which scavenge free-radicals and stabilise DNA to protect the infected organs. 177Lu-EC-Amifostine can be detected using both PET and SPECT for imaging to assess location and degree of viral infection and associated damage as well as follow-up confirmatory imaging to determine post treatment resolution. Amifostine was originally developed by the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Early-stage development is underway in the US.
In June 2005, CellPoint obtained the worldwide patent and technology license to oligosaccharide conjugates for dual imaging and radio/chemotherapy developed at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The imaging agents will be used in SPECT/CT and PET/CT. This dual agent technology is also facilitating the development of targeted radio/chemotherapeutic agents.