Invicro Scientists Work on Imaging Synaptic Density in Schizophrenia Published in Nature Communications

(BOSTON, MA) 28 January 2020 — Invicro LLC, a Konica Minolta Company announces that the paper “Synaptic Density Marker SV2A is Reduced in Schizophrenia Patients and Unaffected by Antipsychotics in Rats1” has been published in Nature Communications. Invicro is a global provider of imaging biomarkers, core lab services, advanced analytics and software solutions for drug discovery and development.

Invicro London scientists, Doctors Lisa Wells, Eugenii (Ilan) Rabiner, and Roger Gunn, are co-authors of this pioneering study that investigates synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) levels and their relationship to symptoms and structural brain measures in patients with schizophrenia using positron emission tomography (PET). The key findings indicated lower synaptic terminal protein levels in schizophrenia in vivo and that antipsychotic drug exposure is unlikely to account for them.

“This pioneering work utilizes novel developments in the imaging of the human brain to evaluate in the living brain previous post-mortem findings,” commented Dr. Eugenii (Ilan) Rabiner, EVP of Translational Applications for Invicro and Reader in Molecular Neuroimaging at King’s College, London.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disease that can be conceptualized as a combination of genetics, environment, and cognitive disorders. Changes in brain anatomy, including loss of synapses, has been hypothesized to play an important role in schizophrenia. This publication is the first to examine synaptic density in schizophrenia, in the living human brain. The authors used a novel PET imaging biomarker ([11C]UCB-J) and positron emission tomography (PET) to demonstrate lower levels of synaptic density in the frontal and anterior cingulate cortices of schizophrenics.

“It was a pleasure to collaborate with Dr. Ellis Onwordi and Prof. Oliver Howes on this pioneering research in Schizophrenia,” stated Dr. Roger Gunn, EVP of Quantitative Data Sciences for Invicro and Professor of Molecular Neuro Imaging at Imperial College London. “This forms part of a wider Invicro program of work in synaptic imaging which has recently been enhanced by the development of [18F]MNI-1126 enabling multi-center imaging trials of synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.”

Nature Communications is a multidisciplinary scientific journal published by Nature Research, that is dedicated to high-quality research in all areas of the biological, physical and earth sciences. The journal seeks to publish the most significant advances in science expressed in landmark papers. Nature Communications published “Synaptic Density Marker SV2A is Reduced in Schizophrenia Patients and Unaffected by Antipsychotics in Rats” on 14 January 2020.

“The ability to detect these changes in the living brain is crucial to aiding our understanding of disease progression, taking the knowledge derived from post-mortem tissue samples and translating this to the clinic,” said Dr. Lisa Wells, Head of Discovery CNS Applications for Invicro.

1.“Synaptic density marker SV2A is reduced in schizophrenia patients and unaffected by antipsychotics in rats” Authors: Ellis Chika Onwordi, Els F. Halff, Thomas Whitehurst, Ayla Mansur, Marie-Caroline Cotel, Lisa Wells, Hannah Creeney, David Bonsall, Maria Rogdaki, Ekaterina Shatalina, Tiago Reis Marques, Eugenii A. Rabiner, Roger N. Gunn, Sridhar Natesan, Anthony C. Vernon & Oliver D. Howes


About Invicro

Headquartered in Boston, MA, Invicro was founded in 2008 with the mission of improving the role and function of imaging in translational drug discovery and development across all therapeutic areas. Today, Invicro’s multi-disciplinary team provides solutions to pharmaceutical and biotech companies across all stages of the drug development pipeline (Phase 0-IV), all imaging modalities and all therapeutic areas, including neurology, oncology, cardiology, and pulmonary.  Invicro’s quantitative biomarker services, advanced analytics and AI tools, and clinical operational services are backed by Invicro’s industry-leading software informatics platforms, VivoQuant® and iPACS®.

Invicro is a Konica Minolta company and part of their precision medicine initiative, which aims to accelerate personalized medicine, discover novel therapeutic targets and develop innovative therapeutic technologies for unmet medical needs. Along with their sister company, Ambry Genetics, Invicro develops and leverages the latest approaches in quantitative biomarkers including imaging, quantitative pathology and genomics. Visit for more information. For more information, visit


About Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) is a global digital technology company with core strengths in imaging and data analysis, optics, materials, and nano-fabrication. Through innovation, Konica Minolta creates products and digital solutions for the betterment of business and society—today and for generations to come. Across its Business Technologies, Healthcare, and Industrial-facing businesses, the company aspires to be an Integral Value Provider that applies the full range of its expertise to offer comprehensive solutions to the customer’s most pressing problems, works with the partners to ensure the solutions are sustainable, anticipates and addresses tomorrow’s issues, and tailors each solution to meet the unique and specific needs of its valued customers. Leveraging these capabilities, Konica Minolta contributes to productivity improvement and workflow change for its customers and provides leading-edge service solutions in the IoT era. Headquartered in Tokyo and with operations in more than 50 countries, Konica Minolta has more than 43,000 employees serving approximately two million customers in over 150 countries. Konica Minolta is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, (TSE4902). For further information, visit:



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