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Neoprobe, FDA work to map plan for cancer-targeting agent

Neoprobe Corp. (OTCBB:NEOP) continues to take steps down the regulatory path aimed at restarting development efforts for its RIGScan cancer-detecting technology.

Neoprobe Corp. (OTCBB:NEOP) continues to take steps down the regulatory path aimed at restarting development efforts for its RIGScan cancer-detecting technology.

The Dublin, Ohio-based company has been granted a first-quarter meeting with the Food and Drug Administration to discuss its plans to begin clinical testing of RIGScan, according to a statement from Neoprobe.

If the FDA signs off on Neoprobe’s development plans, the company would submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the agency. Once the FDA approves that application, Neoprobe would be free to begin testing RIGScan on humans.

RIGScan works by attaching itself to cancerous cells in the body, which can then be identified by a handheld radiation-detection device. A cancer patient is injected with the drug before surgery, and the radiation scanner directs the surgeon to cancerous tissue in the patient’s body.

The drug, or more precisely, the “targeting agent,” may enable more effective colorectal cancer surgeries, according to Neoprobe.

Neoprobe essentially left the RIGScan program for dead in the late ’90s after the technology couldn’t make it past European and U.S. regulators. The company then restructured itself to focus on selling medical devices.  Specifically, the company sells gamma detection devices, which are used to evaluate the potential spread of cancer to lymph nodes and organs.

However, the company has revived interest in the RIGS technology in recent years. Last year, the company raised $3.5 million from an investor to help pay for re-development of the drug, and entered into a development deal with Laureate Pharma to help with RIGScan.

RIGScan is likely at least three or four years away from commercialization.