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J Nucl Med. 2019 Nov 11. pii: jnumed.119.236224. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.119.236224. [Epub ahead of print]

Tau PET imaging with 18F-PI-2620 in patients with Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls: a first-in-human study.

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Life Molecular Imaging GmbH, Germany.
Invicro LLC, United States.
AC Immune SA, Switzerland.
Life Molecular Imaging Inc, United States.


18F-PI-2620 is a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer with high binding affinity for aggregated tau, a key pathologic feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Preclinically, 18F-PI-2620 binds to both, 3R and 4R tau isoforms. The purpose of this first-in-human study was to evaluate the ability of 18F-PI-2620 to detect tau pathology in AD patients using PET imaging, as well as to assess its safety and tolerability of this new tau PET tracer. Methods: Participants with clinical diagnosis of probable AD and healthy controls (HC) underwent dynamic 18F-PI-2620 PET imaging for 180 min. 18F-PI-2620 binding was assessed visually and quantitatively using Distribution Volume Ratios (DVR) estimated from non-invasive tracer kinetics and standardized uptake value ratios (SUVR) measured at different time points post-injection (p.i.) with the cerebellar cortex as the reference region. Time-activity curves and SUVR were assessed in AD and HC, as well as DVR and SUVR correlations and effect size (Cohen's d) over time. Results: 18F-PI-2620 showed peak brain uptake around 5 min p.i. and fast wash-out in non-target regions. In AD subjects, focal asymmetric uptake was evident in temporal and parietal lobes, precuneus, and posterior cingulate cortex. DVR and SUVR in these regions were significantly higher in AD compared to HC. Very low background signal was observed in HC. 18F-PI-2620 administration was safe and well tolerated. SUVR time activity curves in most regions and subjects achieved a secular equilibrium after 40 min p.i.. A strong correlation (R 2 > 0.93) was found between non-invasive DVR and SUVR for all imaging windows starting >30 min p.i.. Similar effect sizes between AD and HC groups were obtained across the different imaging windows. 18F-PI-2620 uptake in neocortical regions was significantly correlated with the degree of cognitive impairment. Conclusion: Initial clinical data obtained in AD and HC demonstrate the high image quality with excellent signal-to-noise of 18F-PI-2620 PET for imaging tau deposition in AD subjects. Non-invasive quantification using DVR and SUVR for 30 min imaging windows between 30-90 min p.i., e.g. 45-75 min, provides robust and significant discrimination between AD and HC subjects. 18F-PI-2620 uptake in expected regions is highly correlated to neurocognitive performance.


Alzheimer’s disease; Neurology; PET; PET/CT; PI-2620; Positron Emission Tomography; Radiopharmaceuticals; Tau


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