Novel F-18 Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid Radiotracers for PET Imaging


Researchers at the University of Alberta have synthesized novel beta-hydroxybutyric acid radiotracers for PET imaging using a 3 step radiosynthetic process. The compounds are designed to serve as radiofluorinated analogues of endogenous non-fluorinated metabolites. The biodistribution of the radiotracers in PET scans of normal mice show uptake in tissues that are difficult to visualize by FDG PET (heart, brain), and scans of tumor-bearing mice indicate prolonged tumor uptake. The radiotracers may be useful for imaging disorders that exhibit metabolic abnormalities like cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, epilepsy etc.
FDG PET is a nuclear imaging technique widely used in clinical oncology to evaluate metastatic, recurring cancer and metabolic diseases. However, [18F]-FDG is ineffective in the detection of small tumors and more differentiated tumor sub-types, as it accumulates in areas of inflammation, making it difficult to distinguish between cancerous and inflamed tissues by imaging. Therefore, there is a need for improved radiopharmaceuticals for PET imaging.



  • 3 step radiosynthesis method
  • Modular radiofluorination method does not require preparation of precursor molecule

Potential Markets

We are seeking radiopharmaceutical and diagnostic companies for collaborative development and licensing.

Protection Status

Patent Pending

Product Number


Contact Information

Megha Bajaj
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-7739