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Merck, GE Healthcare Collaborate For BACE Inhibitor Development Program

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Merck (MRK: Quote), known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, and GE Healthcare, an unit of General Electric Co. (GE: Quote), 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.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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