Radiopharm Theranostics (ASX:RAD) has announced it has entered an agreement with TerThera to supply it with Terbium-161 (Tb-161).
Radiopharm is an Australian company developing radiopharmaceutical products for both diagnostic and therapeutic uses.
The company said the Tb-161 isotope would be linked to a proprietary peptide to form RAD 602, a radiotherapeutic developed to target protein tyrosine phosphatase mu (PTPmu or PTPμ).
PTPμ is expressed in cancer cells but has limited expression in healthy tissue. Radiopharm said it will initiate a Phase I dose-escalating trial of RAD 602 during the fourth quarter of calendar 2023 for treating patients with brain cancers.
“We are excited to initiate our RAD 602 clinical trial, which is the first dose-escalating radiopharmaceutical study leveraging the strong therapeutic properties of Tb-161 in brain tumors,” said Riccardo Canevari, CEO and managing director of Radiopharm Theranostics.
“This novel therapeutic isotope represents a potential first-in-class targeted radiotherapeutic that can expand treatment options for patients living with cancer. We believe that Radiopharm has achieved a strong competitive advantage from being the first company to do a phase I trial using this isotope, and securing supply of this relatively scarce isotope.”
Terbium-161 is considered a promising isotope for targeted cancer treatment due to its unique characteristics of radiation emitted, which includes both Auger electrons and short-range beta particles.
The beta radiation travels only a few millimetres and Auger electronic emission has a higher linear energy transfer that travels less than the width of a single cell. Tb‑161 has shown positive bioequivalence presenting a biodistribution comparable to currently used radio lanthanides and is considered potentially superior to Lutetium-177 (Lu-177) due to Auger effect increasing potency and efficacy in selectively destroying tumour cells while leaving surrounding healthy tissue largely unaffected.
“TerThera is positioned to meet the growing global demand for radioisotopes in oncology by providing a highly sustainable and uninterrupted supply of Terbium-161,” said Philippe van Overeem, CEO of TerThera. “We are proud to partner with Radiopharm Theranostics to supply their innovative radioligand pipeline and to help enable development of a new generation of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals.”