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Pharmimage® Pharmaco-Imaging

Why use pharmaco-imaging in preclinical drug development?



Given careful selection of imaging targets and probes, the results generated by preclinical imaging studies can influence decisions on whether to move forward with a promising candidate, or to kill a potential drug early in the pipeline.If a drug moves into clinical development, imaging is an almost unique opportunity to follow it into humans, using the same techniques developed during the preclinical phase.


Functional and molecular small animal imaging enable a non-invasive quantification of biomarkers to answer the following questions:

  • Is the target expressed?
  • Does the drug reach the target? (PK, biodistribution)
  • Is the target inhibited/activated, inducing downstream biochemical and biological change? (PD, optimal biological dose)
  • Are there any potential toxicities and drug-drug interactions? (safety, drug combination study)
  • Are these changes related to a clinical endpoint? (efficacy)


All these imaging biomarkers are a unique opportunity for:

  • Tumor model characterization: orthotopic tumor growth, metastasis, in-situ biodistribution of the radiolabeled drug
  • Candidate selection: comparison of the efficacy of several candidates on a validated imaging assay
  • Clinical biomarker selection: dose, time for clinical response and feasibility of the clinical set-up implementation 


Translational expertise, equipment of excellence and high quality technology transfer

Oncodesign® has developed in-house small animal imaging skills and acquired imaging expertise by leading the Pharmimage® consortium, a pharmaco-imaging platform in Dijon (France). Pharmimage® gathers complementary skills in computer sciences, physics, electronic, chemistry, radiochemistry, biology, medicine and pharmacology to provide our clients efficient and comprehensive drug evaluation solutions.  

Through Pharmimage, we are uniquely positioned to provide our clients with an integrated expertise in multi-parametric pharmaco-imaging for both preclinical and clinical applications:

  • X-ray computerized tomography (CT)
  • Ultrasound (US)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
  • Optical technologies (bioluminescence)
  • Cyclotron
  • Radiochemistry labs

The selection of the imaging modality varies with the question to be answered and the performance of the imaging device sensitivity, spatial and temporal resolution.


 Why use pharmaco-imaging in clinical drug development?

The main objective is to deliver new active drugs to clinicians earlier and with more accuracy by determining clinically useful biomarkers for:

  • Diagnosis
  • Patient stratification
  • Companion pharmacodynamic endpoints
  • Early phase 0 clinical trials
  • Drug efficacy monitoring for personalized medicine
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