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Study advancing the use of 19F tracer agent in clinical immuno-oncology applications is published in Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging

November 2, 2017 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Celsense, Inc., announced today that the results of a study validating methods to integrate a 19F MRI tracer agent in the production of human immune cells vaccines at a clinical scale was published in the peer-reviewed journal Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging. The article describes the successful labeling of primary human T cells with the Cell Sense 19F MRI tracer agent in conditions typical for the production of immune cell vaccines used to treat cancers.

Recent success using genetically manipulated immune cells to treat hematological cancers has caused a surge in activity to adopt this treatment strategy to other cancers. The use of novel imaging techniques to study immune cell homing and persistence will be required to advance this treatment strategy to solid tumors.

The process of manufacturing these vaccines typically begins with a sample of immune cells derived from the patient’s blood. This could include T cells, NK cells, or mixed lymphocyte composition. These cells are then genetically programmed to recognize and kill cancerous tumors. The cancer killing cells are then activated and expanded in number to 1 to 3 billion cells in specialized equipment called bioreactors. In this particular study, the Wave 2/10 (Xuri X-5) manufactured by GE Healthcare was used. A vaccine comprised of 1 to 3 billion cells are then administered to the patient. Until this study, it was unknown whether the labeling cells for detection in 19F MRI could be successfully integrated into the processes used to manufacture these live cell vaccines.

“We are delighted to report the results of this study. We see this work as an important step in the translation of these therapies from the lab bench to widespread clinical use,” said Brooke Helfer, the Director of R&D at Celsense, Inc. and the senior author of the article.

This study was funded by a grant from GE Healthcare, and in-kind support from GE Healthcare and Celsense, Inc. The authors of the article include Charles F. O’Hanlon, Tamara Fedczyna, Shannon Eaker, William D. Shingleton, and Brooke M Helfer. This open-access manuscript is available at Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging.

About Cell Sense
Cell Sense is a patented perfluorocarbon tracer agent used to non-invasively image the administration, migration, and persistence of cells transplanted for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes using MRI. Cell Sense is the subject of Drug Master Files at the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada, and is available for use in preclinical and clinical studies. Applications include tracking cells in immunotherapy and regenerative medicine, as well as diagnosis of inflammatory sites by tracking selected populations of immune cells. Using Voxel Tracker, a software suite developed by Celsense, investigators can quantify the number of labeled cells in a user-specified region of interest.

About Celsense, Inc.
Celsense, Inc. develops and markets novel products that enable the non-invasive imaging of populations of cells in vivo using MRI. Customers include leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as medical research centers worldwide. Celsense’s mission is to be the standard for cellular imaging in human health.

Contact Information:

Charlie O’Hanlon, President and CEO
Celsense, Inc.
(412) 263-2870

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Celsense offers products that enable real-time MRI detection of inflammation and cellular therapeutics. The mission of the company is to be the standard for cellular imaging in human health.

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