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Merck, GE Healthcare Collaborate For BACE Inhibitor Development Program

Merck (MRK), known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, and GE Healthcare, an unit of General Electric Co. (GE), announced a study collaboration, license and supply agreement for use of [18F]Flutemetamol, an investigational positron emission tomography or PET imaging agent, to support Merck's development of MK-8931, a novel oral beta amyloid precursor protein site cleaving enzyme or BACE inhibitor and Merck's lead investigational candidate for Alzheimer's disease.

According to the agreement, GE Healthcare would supply [18F]Flutemetamol to help select patients for trials and assess this investigational agent as a companion diagnostic tool. A joint Merck and GE Healthcare Imaging Advisory Committee would oversee the planned imaging studies.

"In clinical trials, [18F]Flutemetamol demonstrated consistent performance in the visual detection of beta amyloid in the brain when compared with histopathology data," according to Jonathan Allis, general manager, PET, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics.

by RTT Staff Writer

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