A Nuclear Medicine Center may be soon established in the Ural region as a result of efforts by the specialists of the Institute of Reactor Materials (IRM, an enterprise of Scientific Division of Rosatom State Corporation).
This initiative was supported by two regional ministries (the ministry of industry and ministry of health), and the institute received a grant of one hundred million rubles from the Industrial Development Fund to establish a production facility for radiopharmaceuticals based on iridium-192, iodine-125, and precursor of lutetium-177. These isotopes are required for more accurate and effective treatment of various types of cancer.
In an interview with “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, Natalia Glushkova, Head of Science and Innovation Department at IRM, said:
“We are proud of Lutetium-Iridium-Iodine project. This year, it allowed the Institute to receive the Award No. 1 from the Sverdlovsk Regional Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Ural Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We have designed this project and we are implementing it on our own. Currently, it is at the stage of construction and installation works. We are preparing the building and purchasing equipment. In 2019, we will launch the manufacturing of first radiopharmaceuticals.”
She added that, earlier, the Institute manufactured mostly “semi-finished products,” such as the radioisotopes produced by exposing an appropriate target element. After the isolation, these radioisotopes were sent abroad, where they have been packed, certified and sold to consumers at a much higher price. Now, the institute will be involved in a deeper processing of raw materials, which will increase the profitability of production facility and provide Russian doctors with domestic drugs for cancer treatment.