June 13, 2022

New Gadolinium-Free MRI Contrast Agent Advances Safer Patient Care

Contrast agents used in MRI scans to improve the clarity of imaging for diagnostic accuracy, accumulate in the brain and body of every patient, and carry an FDA “black box” warning about gadolinium, a heavy metal they use to generate contrast. Now, a revolutionary gadolinium-free contrast agent, RVP‑001, designed to provide safer contrast-enhanced MRIs for patients and to directly replace current MRI contrast agents, is being tested for the first time in a clinical trial. Reveal Pharmaceuticals has dosed the first subjects in the Phase 1 clinical trial of RVP‑001.

The Phase 1 study is designed to determine the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of RVP‑001. Each year over 40 million contrast-enhanced (CE) MRI scans are used to diagnose and manage many serious health conditions. Gadolinium used in CE‑MRI scans not only impacts patients with buildup of the heavy metal in the brain and body, but also impacts the environment by driving rising levels of gadolinium in the earth’s surface waters. Instead of gadolinium, RVP‑001 uses manganese, which is essential for life and naturally found in the body.

RVP‑001 was invented by Peter Caravan and Eric Gale at Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital. The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding the US-based clinical trial.

Reveal Pharmaceuticals was one of the inaugural awardees of the MLSC’s Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen). MassNextGen is a five year, more than $2 million commitment to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. Each year, following a competitive program, the MLSC awards women-led early-stage life science companies a yearlong customized package of support, which includes non-dilutive grant funding and access to a network of seasoned Executive Coaches from the life sciences ecosystem to refine their business strategies and effectively raise capital.