The installation of a translational platform for innovative diagnostic radiotracers is the focus of this Technology Translation Project (TTP) project. This includes: (i) year-round access to innovative, diagnostic radionuclides; (ii) standardized and automated methods for innovative tracer synthesis; (iii) additional trained staff for method development and radiotracer syntheses according to good manufacturing practice (GMP) for applications in patients.
We will install a solid target at the 18 MeV medical cyclotron (IBA) of the ETH Hönggerberg including a pneumatic shuttle system and a separate lead-shielded hood. The solid target will enable the production of the longer-lived, radiometal nuclides useful for targeted peptide and protein labeling. We will produce innovative radiopharmaceuticals according to GMP. All clinical researcher within and outside SPHN/PHRT can approach the platform and request innovative radionuclides and radiotracers.
This TTP will put the SPHN/PHRT Basel-Zürich alliance in a nationally and internationally privileged and competitive position. Beyond that, the TTP is expected to have major impact on the personalized medicine initiative in Switzerland and in the future, the entire healthcare system.
New and novel radiotracers will provide additional, clinical information of diseases. Furthermore, the project holds unexplored opportunities for the Swiss pharma industry. This is because a successful implementation of the TTP concept could not only lead to new radiopharmaceutical drugs offering opportunities for commercial spin-off activities but could also shift the paradigm in clinical drug development, thereby reducing costs and time.
Functional imaging of biological and pathological processes at a molecular level using positron emission tomography (PET) offers an unparalleled opportunity for personalized medicine in the future. This opportunity strongly depends on the degree to which innovative PET radiotracers will translate into clinical practice. A plethora of novel radiotracers is available for pre-clinical research. The same cannot be said at the clinical level. Lack of radiotracers are identified for patients suffering from neurological and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. addiction, Parkinson’s, AD etc.), neuro-inflammatory disease (ALS, MS), patients at risk of strokes (arterial plaque etc.), metabolic disease (obesity, diabetes) and for metastasized or pre-metastatic cancerous conditions (metabolism, hypoxia, inflammation, immunity) for which no clinical radiodiagnostic exists in Switzerland.
Patents / Startups
Dodich, A., Mendes, A., Assal, F. et al. The A/T/N model applied through imaging biomarkers in a memory clinic. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 47, 247–255 (2020). doi.org/10.1007/s00259-019-04536-