Repligen has enrolled the first patient in a pilot study to evaluate the ability of RG1068 to improve detection and characterisation of pancreatic cancer.

RG1068, a synthetic version of the hormone secretin, is known to stimulate the secretion of pancreatic fluid into the pancreatic ducts and to increase blood flow to the tissues of the pancreas.

The study will enrol up to 40 patients with a known or suspected pancreatic mass and will also evaluate which imaging technique is optimal for pancreatic tumour detection, staging and evaluation for surgery.

The addition of RG1068 to standard contrast-enhanced imaging techniques that are currently ineffective in resolving early disease may enable the tumour to become more visible.

Principal investigator of the study Pablo Ros said that RG1068 has the potential to improve the ability to detect and correctly stage pancreatic tumours by CT and MRI scans and may lead to improved patient outcomes.

In previous Phase III studies, RG1068 has shown improvement in detection of pancreatic duct abnormalities in combination with MRI in patients with pancreatitis.