MDS partnership to develop new cardiac, cancer imaging agents

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MDS Nordion, TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have entered into a three-year research and development partnership to pursue the development of new diagnostic imaging agents using technology based on radiometals and chelates.

Radiometals are a class of medical isotopes currently used in 80 percent of nuclear medicine procedures. Scientists will combine select radiometals with newly developed chelates--substances that bind to radiometals and protect them as they are carried through the body--with the goal to provide new agents for the diagnoses and treatment of cancer and heart disease, according to MDS Nordion President Steve West.

Under the terms of the agreement, MDS, TRIUMF and UBC will provide expertise in chelate design and synthesis, analytical chemistry and radiochemistry. MDS will provide required medical isotopes produced at its facility on the TRIUMF campus.

Each partner will provide funding and in kind contributions for the project, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will provide a grant through its co-operative research and development program.

MDS Nordion, TRIUMF and UBC researchers will explore alternative technologies, as well as experiment with new modalities for diagnostic imaging and treatments.

In late April, MDS and TRIUMF inked another deal to study the feasibility of producing a viable and reliable supply of photo-fission produced molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) using linear accelrators rather than nuclear reactors.