To mark its 10th anniversary, Drug Discovery & Development magazine invited industry vendors to reflect on the history and made predictions about future of the industry. Featured here are verbatim comments from this company.
Carestream Molecular Imaging
New Haven, Conn.
Rochester N.Y., and New Haven, Conn.
Years in Drug Research
William McLaughlin, Director of Research & Advanced Applications
About the company
Carestream Molecular Imaging, a division of Carestream Health, Inc., develops and markets high performance optical molecular imaging systems under the Kodak brand for in vivo and in vitro applications. With a complete line of bioimaging systems for life science and drug discovery/development research, the company’s solutions are designed for a wide range of applications including DNA gel, western blot, fluorescent and multi-wavelength fluorescent labeling, chemiluminescence, small animal, radioisotopic and X-ray specimen imaging. It also offers a broad portfolio of imaging agents that include KODAK X-SIGHT Nanospheres and Large Stokes Shift Dyes in a variety of conjugated forms, as well as film and accessories.
The company’s line of business as it was 10 years ago. Changes in life science/drug research that influenced business.
Ten years ago—when our company was part of Kodak’s Health Group—we were introducing new films for chemiluminescence and radioisotopic imaging, and in 1998 we introduced our first high sensitivity digital imaging system designed for use with fluorescent gels and blots. We then began to focus on developing and improving our optical digital imaging systems and imaging agents for use in vivo and in vitro applications. We answered researchers’ needs as their work evolved from a genomic emphasis to proteomic technologies. It became evident that optical molecular imaging could advance the study of diseases and drug treatments by providing tools to visualize and analyze how proteins function in and around cells, tissues and organs.
Scientific challenges in the next 10 years.
One of the challenges will be learning how to translate multimodal in vivo imaging from small animals to larger animals and humans. We will need to adapt our imaging systems to detect known fluorochromes in larger animals and humans. We may also need to develop new fluorochromes to operate within the challenging parameters of large animal and human translation. Another challenge is dealing with depth restrictions that currently limit the expansion of optical imaging applications. We believe that expanding the depth penetration and using the technology in body cavities as well as on the skin will enable us to image many types of diseases noninvasively. In addition, we expect to be involved in developing systems for image guided surgery so that surgeons can view disease tissue in real time and reduce the need to rely upon more invasive procedures (e.g. biopsies) for diagnosis.
Factor(s) that drove the development of technologies during the last 10 years and greatest area of growths.
In our field, customer demand typically drives technology development. Our first in vivo imaging system was spurred by a customer request to convert a gel and blot system for use with animal imaging. We continue to work closely with top academic and pharmaceutical laboratories to create new capabilities and technologies that enhance their research efforts. Some of the greatest areas of growth have been in the development of our innovative KODAK In-Vivo Multispectral Imaging System FX that offers multiwavelength fluorescent detection as well as very high-resolution X-ray imaging, as well as our organic fluorescent nanoparticle imaging agents and dyes.
Bold Prediction: Where will drug research technology be in 10 years?
Disease behavior and the way drugs interact with various disease states is extremely complex, which makes drug research and development both time-consuming and costly. In the future, we need to find higher throughput in-vivo testing methods that help expedite drug discovery and development and optimize costs for drug developers and ultimately consumers. One application could be multiplexing, in which potentially five or more drug entities (with unique labels) could be tested in vivo simultaneously. The bottom line is that we will strive to develop new methods and tools that enhance the effectiveness of drug research and speed the process of bringing new drug therapies to market.