Molecular imaging in drug development

  title={Molecular imaging in drug development},
  author={J{\"u}rgen K Willmann and Nicholas van Bruggen and Ludger M. Dinkelborg and Sanjiv Sam Gambhir},
  journal={Nature Reviews Drug Discovery},
Molecular imaging can allow the non-invasive assessment of biological and biochemical processes in living subjects. Such technologies therefore have the potential to enhance our understanding of disease and drug activity during preclinical and clinical drug development, which could aid decisions to select candidates that seem most likely to be successful or to halt the development of drugs that seem likely to ultimately fail. Here, with an emphasis on oncology, we review the applications of… 

Noninvasive structural, functional, and molecular imaging in drug development.

  • M. Rudin
  • Biology
    Current opinion in chemical biology
  • 2009

Molecular imaging with bioconjugates in mouse models of cancer.

  • S. Mather
  • Biology, Chemistry
    Bioconjugate chemistry
  • 2009
This review gives an overview of the technologies available for and the potential benefits from molecular imaging at the preclinical stage and focuses on the use of imaging probes based on bioconjugates.

Imaging as a Localized Biomarker: Opportunities and Challenges

Understanding the opportunities for using imaging biomarkers as tools in drug development while recognizing the current challenges and how efforts to overcome these challenges are evolving is focused on.

Has Molecular and Cellular Imaging Enhanced Drug Discovery and Drug Development?

Several important applications of molecular and cellular imaging in drug discovery and development are discussed, which include: measurement of pharmacodynamic endpoints by imaging metabolism and proliferation, imaging angiogenic parameters, and imaging a particular pathway or downstream target.



Using imaging biomarkers to accelerate drug development and clinical trials.

The Progress and Promise of Molecular Imaging Probes in Oncologic Drug Development

The scientific basis of oncology imaging probes is outlined and examples of probes that could facilitate progress are presented, with a focus on recent Food and Drug Administration guidance to facilitate early clinical development of promising probes.

Molecular Imaging in Drug Discovery and Development: Potential and Limitations of Nonnuclear Methods

The role of molecular imaging for drug discovery and development is reviewed focusing on nonnuclear imaging methods, i.e., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical imaging techniques based on fluorescence and bioluminescence readouts, including direct visualization of target expression using target-specific ligands or reporter genes, pathway imaging, and cell-trafficking studies.

Molecular imaging of antiangiogenic agents.

The role of molecular imaging in general, and DCE-MRI in particular, in relation to treatment with antiangiogenic agents is discussed and some of the difficulties encountered are highlighted.


The goal of this paper is to briefly review the available imaging modalities, highlight some uses of anatomical and functional imaging and then focus on exciting advances in molecular imaging and how they will affect drug discovery and development.

Medical imaging in pharmaceutical clinical trials: what radiologists should know.

Molecular imaging applications for immunology.

Clinical molecular imaging with positron emission tomography.

Gene therapy imaging in patients for oncological applications

The current status of gene therapy-based anticancer strategies are presented and how molecular imaging, and more specifically radionuclide-based approaches, can be used in gene therapy procedures for oncological applications in humans are shown.

Gene Therapy Progress and Prospects: Noninvasive imaging of gene therapy in living subjects

The use of radionuclide, magnetic resonance, and optical imaging technologies are reviewed, as they have been used in imaging gene delivery and gene expression for gene therapy applications.