First commercial sales of lutetium-177 based on IOCB separation technology
SHINE Medical Technologies has made its first commercial sales of lutetium-177 to customers. Lutetium-177, or Lu-177, was produced with the use of separation technology developed at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague) in the scientific team led by Miloslav Polášek, in collaboration with researchers from the Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS. Lu-177 is a therapeutic isotope with potential to revolutionize the treatment of cancer patients.
“Science can sometimes be frustrating, so seeing a technology move from an academic lab to the real world so quickly is very satisfying,” said Miloslav Polášek, head of the Coordination Chemistry group at IOCB Prague. “For the public to benefit from discovery, it is necessary to translate it into practical applications. That requires a strong partnership between science, engineering, and business. Our partnership with SHINE continuously demonstrates the right mix of these ingredients and I believe many patients around the world will soon benefit from it.”
Low-energy beta-particle emitter
Lu-177 is a low-energy beta-particle emitter that works by directly irradiating cancer cells after being delivered to the cancer site by a targeting molecule. It is used to treat neuroendocrine cancers, but also shows promise for the treatment of metastatic prostate and other cancers. At the moment, there are dozens of clinical trials studying Lu-177’s potential to treat various cancer types, and it is expected the demand for Lu-177 will grow rapidly as its efficacy and impact on the field of cancer therapy continue to be demonstrated.
One of the key obstacles in the production of Lu-177 is its complicated and lengthy separation from irradiated ytterbium-176 targets. The team led by Miloslav Polášek has developed a novel technology dramatically improving the speed and efficiency of the separation and thus allowing for significant scaling up of the production of Lu-177. The technology was successfully tested in collaboration with the team of Prof. Ondřej Lebeda from the Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS. In 2019, IOCB Prague provided a global, exclusive license to the method to SHINE Medical Technologies. SHINE aims to use the process for large scale production of Lu-177 for the global market.