Rosatom works on import substitution of radiopharmaceuticals

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In the coming years, the experts of the Leypunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE, Obninsk, a scientific division of Rosatom), together with their colleagues from other research institutes of Rosatom and health care professionals, plan to implement a number of new projects in the area of import substitution of nuclear technology for cancer treatment, said Andrey Goverdovsky, the General Director of IPPE.

At this point, the manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals based on Yttrium-90, a radioactive isotope, for the treatment of liver cancer, will be a IPPE priority project in the area of “nuclear medicine”, added Mr. Goverdovsky.

“The work on Yttrium-90 now becomes a priority project. We need time to finalize the technology, and then we will reach the stage of preclinical trials that we will conduct together with A.F. Tsyba Medical Radiological Research Center (MRRC). This work is supported by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The support includes the financing both for our part of the works and the part that will be implemented by health care professionals. We are working with them in tandem,” said Mr. Goverdovsky.

The most difficult step for IPPE is believed to be the creation of radiopharmaceuticals based on radioisotope Radium-223. In terms of its chemical properties, radium is similar to calcium. Therefore, it accumulates in bone tissues, where the metastases are the most frequent.

“In the coming years, we are planning to create a Radium-223 generator for the treatment of metastases. This is another big joint project with the MRRC, which will take at least seven years,” said Mr. Goverdovsky. “It is a very important work because, today, there are no analogs to very expensive foreign drugs. We expect to reduce the cost by about an order of magnitude. For the patients, this will be very significant,” he said.

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