by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | May 26, 2023
SpectronRx and The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) are partnering on a new facility that will be operational by 2024 and focus on the labeling of actinium-225 radiopharmaceuticals for therapy.
Per the arrangement, the radiopharmaceutical company will provide state-of-the-art equipment and a Quality System with GMP-qualified procedures, while the facility will supply the necessary resources to meet the development objectives.
SpectronRx received European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval to send nuclear meds to Europe last year.
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“Gaining EMA approval was a critical step in fulfilling our ambition to supply Europe with much-needed diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals,” says John Zehner, SpectronRx CEO. “Medical radioisotopes are in short supply in many many places, and European patients deserve to have access to them. That’s why our partnership with SCK CEN is so important.”
Alpha-emitting Actinium-225 is a promising isotope with high cytotoxic potency within a very short range (limited to few cancerous cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissues). Moreover its 10-day half-life allows for centralized distribution and a smooth logistical process. Extensive preclinical research, as well as numerous clinical studies, are underway that aim to tackle both high prevalence cancers including prostate, lung, colon, breast, pancreas, blood (leukemia and other rare forms), and kidney cancers, but also rarer forms of cancer like glioblastoma, the deadliest form of a very invasive brain cancer.
With over 850 employees, SCK CEN is one of the largest research institutions in Belgium. Its research activities focus on three main areas: innovative nuclear systems, nuclear waste management and dismantling, and the fight against cancer.
“Belgium, and more specifically SCK CEN, was an easy choice,” said Anwer Rizvi, president of SpectronRx. “The Belgian Nuclear Research Center is globally known as one of the leading producers of medical radioisotopes. And it already had plans to actively research therapeutic radioisotopes. Furthermore, we hold a common mission: we both aim to accelerate the fight against cancer.”
The brand-new facility will be operational by 2024 and focus on the labeling of actinium-225 radiopharmaceuticals for therapy.
“Cooperation is the way forward to providing better outcomes for cancer patients,” said Koen Hasaers, Director of Nuclear Medical Applications at SCK CEN. “We are, therefore, happy to welcome activities for SpectronRx on our premises.”
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