Imaging for Proof of Concept

Tools for Assessing Proof of Concept and Driving Business Decisions

November 30, 2011 


Symposium Course Description: 
With the growing number of unprecedented drug targets, the high rate of compound attrition in late stages of development and the desire to select patient populations most likely to respond to therapy, the need for biomarker tools has significantly increased. While biochemical measures have been sufficient in past drug discovery approaches, e.g., plasma cholesterol and statins, biomarker approaches for current targets aimed at modifying the progression of diseases or targeting specific biochemical pathways are more elusive. Imaging target expression in organs of interest, imaging binding of drug candidate to a specific target and imaging expression of a pharmacological effect following target engagement are feasible using current approaches and allows for the establishment of PKPD approaches to enable clinical trials and business decisions. Imaging tools can be applied broadly across multiple disease areas to assess changes in for example, cerebral blood flow, tissue metabolism, brain or peripheral receptor occupancy, inflammation, etc and the tools can be applied for both small molecule and biotherapeutic approaches. Finally, the future applications of imaging lie in better characterizing biologics and biologic approaches such as stem cells and with the development of molecular imaging approaches one has the potential to evaluate changes in specific metabolic pathways.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Setting the Stage: Value of imaging in drug discovery & development
  • Biomarkers & Role of Imaging: Parallels between the needs of past and current drug discovery approaches
  • Impact of Imaging: Applications of platform imaging tools for assessing proof of concept, mechanism and potentially safety of NCEs
  • Future for Imaging: Expanding opportunities for the use of imaging in drug discovery/development

Who Should Attend: 

  • Basic science researchers
  • Clinical researches
  • Biotech or pharmaceutical executives


Instructor Information: Thomas BocanThomas Bocan, PhD
Senior Director
Head, Preclinical BioImaging Facility
Worldwide Research & Development
Pfizer Inc
Groton, CT 06340

Instructor Biography: Dr. Thomas Bocan is the Senior Director and Head of Pfizer’s Preclinical BioImaging facility located in Groton, CT. Dr. Bocan received his PhD in Physiology with an emphasis in Experimental Pathology from Penn State University in 1983 and did post-doctoral research in atherosclerosis at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In 1986, he joined the Atherosclerosis Pharmacology Department at Parke-Davis as a Senior Scientist. Dr. Bocan was awarded the Warner-Lambert 1991 Meritorious Scientific Achievement Award for his research efforts in atherosclerosis. Dr. Bocan has chaired or co-chaired numerous drug discovery teams during his tenure in Cardiovascular Pharmacology. He has co-authored the preclinical Pharmacology summaries for both the atorvastatin IND and NDA as well as for the clinical candidate ACAT inhibitor, CI-976. Tom has been a member of several drug development teams and was the preclinical expert on the Lipitor development team from 1998 to 2001.

From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Bocan established Pfizer’s Preclinical Imaging Facility and in mid-2001, became Director of the facility which is focused on the application of MRI, PET, CT and PET radiotracers as clinically translatable biomarkers of drug mechanism, safety and/or efficacy. Dr. Bocan’s scientific interest in atherosclerosis and in mechanisms for therapeutic intervention to alter the progression of vascular disease led to the interest in non-invasive imaging techniques to assess disease progression. His scientific interest has broadened outside the cardiovascular field and currently manages a group of scientists/engineers for the development of imaging biomarkers across a range of therapeutic areas. Dr. Bocan has authored/coauthored 56 manuscripts, 68 abstracts, 45 internal research reports and is an inventor on 6 patents

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