Request for Information (RFI): Resources for Optimizing Use of PET Radiotracers

Notice Number: NOT-DA-07-004

Key Dates
Release Date: November 7, 2006

Issued by
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (

This Request for Information is a time-sensitive request to the positron emission tomography (PET) community directed toward determining some specific aspects related to better utilization of PET radiopharmaceutical imaging agents across centers.  Based on the response from this inquiry, the NIH is considering initiatives to enhance the use of PET radiotracers beyond single disease applications to promote their use in multiple diseases as well as to increase collaborative efforts between sites.  Initiatives developed will be aimed at complementing other, related efforts that presently exist as part of the NIH Roadmap.  For example, a number of NIH Roadmap initiatives support the development of molecular probes to be used in exploring various diseases at molecular, cellular and in vivo levels, particularly the Molecular Libraries and Imaging initiative that has been established to identify lead compounds for tracer development, the Molecular Imaging & Contrast Agent Database (MICAD) that serves as an online resource for in vivo molecular imaging agents, and the Imaging Probe Development Center (IPDC) that has been established to produce known imaging probes where no viable commercial supplier exists and to develop novel imaging probes for research purposes. The initiatives envisioned to be created based on the responses to this RFI will be directed toward optimizing PET radiortacer development and use across diseases and between and among sites.

Information Requested

Despite significant progress over the past several years toward the better understanding and treatment of diseases, opportunities exist to critically advance our biomedical knowledge by optimizing technological developments in innovative and novel ways.  With respect to positron emission tomography (PET), radiopharmaceutical imaging agents are typically developed with a specific system, utility, or disease entity in mind, but the targets are often relevant to multiple diseases.  In an effort to facilitate development and utilization of clinically useful PET radiopharmaceutical imaging agents beyond a single utility or disease indication, the NIH is considering ways to provide incentives, to establish collaborations, to provide mechanisms to increase the availability of PET imaging probes across sites, and/or to facilitate the exchange of applicable clinical populations to test these probes further.  In order to plan better, refine initiatives, and better serve the PET research community as it works toward better treatment and prevention of disease, the NIH requests information on the following points:

  1. Capability and/or practicality of existing PET centers to support 7 to 10 additional subjects per year that might represent a very different clinical population to be tested with on-site radiotracer(s).
  2. Capacity of the current throughput of subjects and infrastructure (e.g., with respect to personnel, radiochemistry, cyclotron access, camera time, resources, etc.) to allow for an expansion of effort.  Degree of saturation of PET centers’ capacities at present.
  3. Willingness, as part of a collaborative effort, to: 1) share (or teach) radiochemistry synthesis protocols; 2) share non-radioactive precursors; or 3) cross reference IND’s with a different site with access to a clinical population that would allow for the expansion of the utility of on-site radiotracers.
  4. Estimated cost, both in terms of funds/resources and staff time, to increase the capacity for additional pilot studies.
  5. Other issues (e.g., IND, IRB, etc.) that present obstacles to collaborations similar to those described here.
  6. Please provide any additional comments or suggestions on how best to establish research collaborations to extend the utility of PET radiotracers to advance PET imaging research.

Please send email responses to Dr. Joseph Frascella no later than November 21, 2006 using “Resources for Optimizing Use of PET Radiotracers” in the subject line.  Faxes may also be sent to the number below.


For additional information or questions, please contact:

Joseph Frascella, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
Rm. 3164, MSC 9593
6001 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9593
Phone: 301-443-4877
FAX: 301-443-6814

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