Moving Science

Southern Research Signs Agreement with Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana for Non-Invasive Preclinical Imaging Services

May 22, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and SHREVEPORT, La.—Southern Research Institute today announced that it has signed a services agreement with the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana that will provide commercial non-invasive preclinical imaging services exclusively for the Birmingham-based not-for-profit scientific research center. The Biomedical Research Foundation will provide radiopharmaceuticals, radiochemistry and radiopharmacy expertise, and other supporting services. In addition it will provide small animal imaging services and animal care services through a sub-contract with the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S). The Foundation and its partner, LSUHSC-S, have more than 10 years experience in working with industry on preclinical and clinical trials using molecular imaging advancing research to support new diagnostics and treatments in diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

“We were very impressed with LSU Health Sciences Center’s imaging facilities, the team there, and their entrepreneurial spirit,” said Andrew D. Penman, Ph.D., Vice President of Drug Development at Southern Research. “This agreement provides us with access to state-of-the-art preclinical imaging facilities, a dynamic research staff at LSUHSC-S, and the opportunity to provide an increasingly important service to our bio-pharmaceutical clients.”

The Biomedical Research Foundation owns and operates the clinical PET Imaging Center at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport as well as radioisotope production, radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and research laboratories in Shreveport and Baton Rouge. The agreement between Southern Research and the Biomedical Research Foundation will enable Southern Research to conduct comprehensive non-invasive preclinical imaging services for its commercial clients using the equipment and staff at LSUHSC-S, as well as radiopharmaceutical research products and molecular imaging expertise of the Biomedical Research Foundation’s Shreveport-based Southern Isotopes and PET Imaging Center. The PET Imaging Center at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport has provided more than 36,000 clinical scans since opening in 1995. New non-invasive preclinical imaging services available through this contract with the Biomedical Research Foundation and LSUHSC-S will provide Southern Research with such technology as positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), computed tomography (CT), and in vivo bioluminescence and fluorescence optical imaging.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build new scientific relationships and to work with one of the most renowned preclinical Contract Research Organizations in the industry, helping in the search for new drug therapies,” said J. Michael Mathis, Ph.D., Director of the Small Animal Imaging Facility of LSUHSC-S. “Non-invasive imaging is a powerful approach in assessing drug biodistribution and interactions, as well as potential therapeutic mechanisms. We look forward to providing a wide range of these imaging modalities to Southern Research and its clients.”

“Southern Research’s expertise and research successes are well known in our academic community and in industry. We look forward to working with Southern Research as part of its successful drug discovery and development program,” said Jack Sharp, President of the Biomedical Research Foundation. “This type of arrangement allows us to contribute meaningfully to drug discovery efforts that could save the lives of patients all over the world.”

There is increasing demand in the biopharma industry for new methods that can accurately predict, as early as possible, whether potential new drugs will be effective and safe. More and more, pharmaceutical and biopharma companies are relying on imaging at critical stages of their preclinical drug development cycles to determine whether a novel therapeutic agent is go/no go for further development.

Southern Research has discovered or contributed directly to the discovery of seven FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs for a range of different disease states and has worked with global pharmaceutical companies to help develop many other drugs currently on the market. Southern Research also plays a significant role in infectious disease research, most recently helping to evaluate vaccines used to protect the public against the threat of H1N1 and Avian influenzas. Additionally, Southern Research is focusing on drug research that affects a range of neurodegenerative diseases.

Look for the Southern Research team at Booth #543 at the American Association of Cancer Research 102nd Annual Meeting in Orlando, April 3-6.

About Southern Research

Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) scientific research organization founded in 1941 that conducts preclincal drug discovery and development, advanced engineering research in materials, systems development, and environment and energy research. More than 550 scientific and engineering team members support clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries. Southern Research is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with facilities in Wilsonville, Ala., Frederick, Md., and Durham, NC and offices in Huntsville, Ala., New Orleans, La., Washington, DC and Kiev, Ukraine.

About the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana

The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (BRF) is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization established in 1986. The Foundation was founded through a recommendation from the Mt. Auburn Study, an economic development report that identified new initiatives to diversify the Shreveport-Bossier economy. Seed funding for the creation of the Foundation was provided by the Caddo Parish Commission and the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. With 41 employees and a volunteer board of directors, the Foundation manages a $16 million operating budget and $93 million in assets. In fulfilling its mission, the Foundation supports initiatives at InterTech Science Park for life science and related technologies, the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging Center and Southern Isotopes, Education and Workforce Development programs, and supports the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S.)

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