2-(4'-[F-18]fluorophenyl)-1,3-benzothiazole was synthesized as a fluorine-18 labelled derivative of the Pittsburg Compound-B (PIB), which has known affinity for amyloid beta and promising characteristics as tracer for in vivo visualisation of amyloid deposits in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease ( AD). Both the nitro-precursor 2-(4'-nitrophenyl)-1,3-benzothiazole and the non-radioactive reference compound were synthesized using a 1-step synthesis pathway. Labelling was achieved by direct aromatic nucleophilic substitution of the nitro-precursor using [F-18]fluoride by heating for 20 min at 150 degrees C and with a radiochemical yield of 38%. The reference compound showed high affinity for amyloid in an in vitro competition binding study using human AD brain homogenates (K-i = 9.0 nM) and fluorescence imaging of incubated transgenic APP mouse brain slices confirmed binding to amyloid plaques. A biodistribution study in normal mice showed a high brain uptake at 2 min pi (3.20% ID/g) followed by a fast washout (60 min pi: 0.21% ID/g). A dynamic mu PET study was performed in a transgenic APP and normal WT mouse, but, similar to [C-11] PIB, no difference was seen in tracer retention between both kind of mice. The new F-18-labelled 2-phenylbenzothiazole showed excellent preclinical characteristics comparable with those of the C-11-labelled PIB. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.