Tor 23 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

PET and MRI at the forefront

Antaros Medical pioneers new frontiers in innovative PET and MRI techniques, ensuring that their customers’ products are developed in the safest, fastest and most cost effective way.

Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PET and MRI) are technologies which deepens the understanding of human pathophysiology. It can be used to visualise the effects that drugs and drug candidates have on organs.
If a pharma company wants to perform an imaging study in humans, it may turn to a traditional CRO or to an academic institute to get it done. However, both these organisations present challenges in the setting of running front end imaging studies, according to Johannes Hulthe, CEO of Antaros Medical, a company that provides PET and MRI services and partnerships for planning, design and execution of clinical imaging studies.
“A traditional CRO is focussed on operational delivery and is usually not engaged in front-end science and methodology development, while an academic institute wants to publish peer-reviewed articles and usually does not have a profound understanding of drug development. Antaros Medical bridge this gap as we both drive the development of new imaging techniques and have a profound experience in drug development,” he says.
Hence, Antaros Medical’s business idea is to combine the benefits of a CRO with the benefits of an academic institute to break new frontiers in clinical drug development with regard to speed, quality and understanding of human pathophysiology, driving both science and drug development forward.
“It means that all our projects are at the forefront, either scientifically, industrially or both. We focus on small to medium sized studies (10-300 patients) enabling solid decision making after phase 1b and phase 2; as well as providing strong foundation for differentiation of products in the life cycle management space. Our core competencies are in the cardiometabolic space,” he adds.
The founders have high academic qualifications and are experienced in drug development. Three of the founders are active at Uppsala University, where they continue to develop new, innovative, techniques for PET and MRI. The company also has an extensive network of investigators.

Seated at the Bio Venture Hub
Antaros Medical is seated at the AZ Bio Venture Hub.
”For us it’s a fantastic environment and an extremely generous offer from AstraZeneca. It isn’t just about labs and offices. The open atmosphere fosters interaction and two-way communication between AstraZeneca and smaller companies. It creates a biotope beneficial for the entire life science eco-system in West Sweden,” says Johannes Hulthe.
Antaros Medical is a good example of how beneficial the dynamic environment at the hub can be. Started merely twelve months ago, the company is currently managing seven clinical studies and has gone from four to 14 employees.
“We would never have experienced such a growth if we weren’t situated at the Bio Venture Hub. One of our current challenges is to assess how big it’s good for us to be.”
Antaros Medical is not only a service provider. It also re-invests part of its surplus in the development of new pharmaceuticals.
It aims at developing new pharmaceuticals for treating diabetes.