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Improved automated one-pot two-step radiosynthesis of (S)-[18F]FETrp, a radiotracer for PET imaging of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1)

Maisonial-Besset, A.; Kryza, D.; Kopka, K.; Levesque, S.; Moreau, E.; Wenzel, B.; Chezal, J.-M.


Background: (S)-[18F]FETrp is a promising PET radiotracer for imaging IDO1 activity, one of the main enzymes involved in the tryptophan metabolism that plays a key role in several diseases including cancers. To date, the radiosynthesis of this tryptophan analogue remains highly challenging due to partial racemization occurring during the nucleophilic radiofluorination step. This work aims to develop a short, epimerization-free and efficient automated procedure of (S)-[18F]FETrp from a corresponding enantiopure tosylate precursor.
Results: Enantiomerically pure (S)- and (R)-FETrp references as well as tosylate precursors (S)- and (R)-3 were obtained from corresponding N-Boc-(L and D)-tryptophan in 2 and 4 steps, respectively. Manual optimisation of the radiolabelling conditions resulted in >90% radiochemical conversion with more than 99% enantiomeric purity. Based on these results, the (S)-[18F]FETrp radiosynthesis was fully automated on a SynChrom R&D EVOI module to produce the radiotracer in 55.2 ± 7.5% radiochemical yield, 99.9% radiochemical purity, 99.1 ± 0.5% enantiomeric excess, and molar activity of 53.2 ± 9.3 GBq/mol (n = 3).
Conclusions: To avoid racemisation and complicated purification processes, currently encountered for the radiosynthesis of (S)-[18F]FETrp, we report herein significant improvements, including a versatile synthesis of enantiomerically pure tosylate precursor and reference compound and a convenient one-pot two-step automated procedure for the radiosynthesis of (S)-[18F]FETrp. This optimised and robust production method could facilitate further investigations of this relevant PET radiotracer for imaging IDO1 activity.

Keywords: [18F]FETrp; IDO1; Fluorine-18; Radiochemistry; Radiofluorination; Automation; Racemization-free radiolabelling; Circular dichroism detection