Arch Cancer Therapeutics (ACT), a subsidiary of Arch Biopartner, has entered into an agreement with National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to develop prototype brain tumor initiating cell (BTIC) diagnostic imaging agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

NRC will combine ACT’s BTIC-targeting peptide technology with paramagnetic nanoparticles, as per the agreement.

BTICs are a cancer stem cell population that represent a significant disease reservoir believed to play an important role in the formation and recurrence of malignant glioma in humans.

Paramagnetic nanoparticles are small injectable particles used for molecular imaging and can be visualized by MRI.

The combination of ACT’s BTIC targeting peptides and paramagnetic nanoparticles is expected to make BTICs visible.

The development contract, including animal in vivo testing, will be completed within nine months.

If successful, it will further validate ACT’s BTIC-targeting technology as a potential diagnostic tool for human malignant glioma.