Avid Radiopharmaceuticals and Cardinal Health are working in collaboration to test a new molecular imaging agent during trials, which could provide an answer to accurately detecting Alzheimer’s disease before a patient dies.

At present, evidence of the beta-amyloid plaque deposits that cause Alzheimer’s disease in the brain cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death, when a brain autopsy is performed.

The collaboration will enrol more than 700 patients in 100 clinical centres in a Phase III clinical trial to test whether Avid’s molecular imaging agent Florbetapir F 18 can detect Alzheimer’s disease in living patients.

A critical factor in the clinical trials is the ability of Cardinal Health to manufacture and deliver fluorine 18 (F 18), as the formula begins to diminish immediately after it is produced and needs to be manufactured in close proximity to the clinical sites.