Mol Imaging. 2014;13: doi: 10.2310/7290.2014.00025.

First human use of a radiopharmaceutical prepared by continuous-flow microfluidic radiofluorination: proof of concept with the tau imaging agent [18F]T807

Liang SH, Yokell DL, Normandin MD, Rice PA, Jackson RN, Shoup TM, Brady TJ, El Fakhri G, Collier TL, Vasdev N.


Despite extensive preclinical imaging with radiotracers developed by continuous-flow microfluidics, a positron emission tomographic (PET) radiopharmaceutical has not been reported for human imaging studies by this technology. The goal of this study was to validate the synthesis of the tau radiopharmaceutical 7-(6-fluoropyridin-3-yl)-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole ([18F]T807) and perform first-in-human PET scanning enabled by microfluidic flow chemistry. [18F]T807 was synthesized by our modified one-step method and adapted to suit a commercial microfluidic flow chemistry module. For this proof of concept, the flow system was integrated to a GE Tracerlab FXFN unit for high-performance liquid chromatography purification and formulation. Three consecutive productions of [18F]T807 were conducted to validate this radiopharmaceutical. Uncorrected radiochemical yields of 17 ± 1% of crude [18F]T807 (≈ 500 mCi, radiochemical purity 95%) were obtained from the microfluidic device. The crude material was then purified, and > 100 mCi of the final product was obtained in an overall uncorrected radiochemical yield of 5 ± 1% (n  =  3), relative to starting [18F]fluoride (end of bombardment), with high radiochemical purity (≥ 99%) and high specific activities (6 Ci/μmol) in 100 minutes. A clinical research study was carried out with [18F]T807, representing the first reported human imaging study with a radiopharmaceutical prepared by this technology.

PMID: 25248283