MDS Nordion, Guerbet, Cyceron collaborate to develop new PET radiotracers for cancer diagnostics

Collaboration will Assess New and Innovative Imaging Agents for Cancer Detection

MDS Nordion, a leading provider of products and services to the global health science market, Guerbet, a pharmaceutical group specialized in medical imaging, and Cyceron, a biomedical imaging centre in France, announced today they have entered into an agreement to develop new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiotracers for cancer diagnostics. The project, which brings together three world-class scientific teams, will investigate a radiopharmaceutical using Gallium-68 (Ga-68) to assess its functionality and image quality, develop a formulation to allow preparation at an imaging clinic and evaluate commercial feasibility.

Under the terms of the agreement, MDS Nordion, Guerbet, and Cyceron will provide complementary expertise in radiochemistry, radiolabeling and targeted delivery of radioisotopes. Guerbet will lead the project for its duration as the scientific coordinator. In addition, each party will provide scientific resources and in-kind contributions for the project.

"It is exciting that these partners, working in complementary areas and from different nations, have deployed their efforts to advance this technology that will ultimately benefit patients," said Claire Corot, Vice President, Research, Guerbet. "Currently, PET imaging agents have contributed to considerable diagnostic advances; however, our project will investigate and determine if a Gallium-68 based radiotracer can become an additional imaging tool more widely used by clinicians."

Support and funding of this project will be provided to Guerbet through OSEO Innovation, under the authority of France's Ministries of Finance, Industry, Small Businesses and Research. In addition, Eureka - an intergovernmental initiative aimed at enhancing European competitiveness - has assisted in facilitating access and eligibility to national public and private funding. This project has received the internationally recognized Eureka label indicating the organization's full support. Cyceron is also supported by the Regional Council of Lower Normandy, OSEO Lower Normandy and the European Regional Development Fund.

"This project is another example of how MDS Nordion continues to be a valued partner by leaders in the molecular imaging field," says Peter Covitz, Senior Vice-President, Innovation, MDS Nordion. "We believe that partnering with Guerbet and Cyceron - utilizing our different strengths and capabilities - will further advance technology and improve molecular imaging for the future."

"This project meets the mission of Cyceron, pooling skills, experience, technical knowledge and financial resources to advance technology platforms that will ultimately benefit hospitals and research facilities," said Bernard Mazoyer, Director of Cyceron. "Through this groundbreaking research we hope to bring new and innovative PET imaging tracers from conceptualization to realization."

Currently, the most common radioisotope used in PET imaging is Fluorine-18, used to create the tracer for glucose, F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose, commonly known as FDG. However, Gallium-68 is viewed by the research and medical communities as an important emerging isotope for the development of new diagnostic PET tracers. Gallium-68 is produced from a small generator rather than directly from a cyclotron, greatly reducing the infrastructure needed to prepare an agent for clinics.




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