EJNMMI Research (2020-12-01)

Preclinical comparison of four [18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7 isomers: influence of the stereoconfiguration on pharmacokinetics

  • Alexander Wurzer,
  • Mara Parzinger,
  • Matthias Konrad,
  • Roswitha Beck,
  • Thomas Günther,
  • Veronika Felber,
  • Stefanie Färber,
  • Daniel Di Carlo,
  • Hans-Jürgen Wester

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 1
pp. 1 – 10


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Abstract Introduction Radiohybrid (rh) ligands, a novel class of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted radiopharmaceuticals, can be labeled either with [18F]fluorine via isotopic exchange or with radiometals (such as [68Ga]Gallium, [177Lu]Lutetium, [225Ac]Actinium). Among these, [18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7 has recently entered clinical assessment. Aim Since [18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7 is composed of four stereoisomers ([18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7.1, -7.2, -7.3 and -7.4), we initiated a preclinical selection process to identify the isomer with the most favorable pharmacokinetics for further clinical investigation. Methods A synthetic protocol for enantiopure [19F, natGa]rhPSMA-7 isomers has been developed. The comparative evaluation of the four isomers comprised human serum albumin binding, lipophilicity, IC50, internalization and classical biodistribution studies and competition experiments in LNCaP tumor-bearing CB-17 SCID mice. In addition, a radio high-performance liquid chromatography-based method was developed allowing quantitative, intraindividual comparison of [18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7.1 to -7.4 in LNCaP tumor-bearing mice. Results Cell studies revealed high PSMA affinity and internalization for [18/19F, natGa]rhPSMA-7.2, -7.3 and -7.4, whereas [18/19F, natGa]rhPSMA-7.1 showed approximately twofold lower values. Although the biodistribution profile obtained was typical of PSMA inhibitors, it did not allow for selection of a lead candidate for clinical studies. Thus, an intraindividual comparison of all four isomers in LNCaP tumor-bearing mice was carried out by injection of a diastereomeric mixture, followed by analysis of the differential uptake and excretion pattern of each isomer. Based on its high tumor accumulation and low uptake in blood, liver and kidneys, [18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7.3 was identified as the preferred isomer and transferred into clinical studies. Conclusion [18F, natGa]rhPSMA-7.3 has been selected as a lead compound for clinical development of a [18F]rhPSMA-based candidate. The intraindividual differential uptake and excretion analysis in vivo allowed for an accurate comparison and assessment of radiopharmaceuticals.