Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX.TLX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic products based on targeted radiopharmaceuticals or “molecularly-targeted radiation” (MTR), has announced a research partnership with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the Accelerator for Research in Radiochemistry and Oncology at Nantes Atlantic (ARRONAX).
INSERM is a leading translational research organization with a track record of industry engagement and technology development.
ARRONAX is a cyclotron (particle accelerator) facility and a world-leader in the production of novel radioactive isotopes, including astatine. Together, INSERM and ARRONAX have created a highly capable nuclear medicine research cluster in Nantes with a track record of cutting-edge translational research.
Under the research partnership, Telix will explore the feasibility of using several of its clinical targeting agents with astatine.
Astatine is an 'alpha emitter', a very high-energy radionuclide capable of significantly altering the tumour microenvironment when attached to a molecular targeting agent that is specific for cancer cells.
Telix said the agreement will fund sufficient staff and facility time to conduct a number of studies over a two-year period, including preparation for pilot clinical studies in the nuclear medicine department of University Hospital of Nantes. The agreement also accesses a portfolio of intellectual property that has been developed within the Nantes cluster that may lead to new products and indications for Telix’s therapeutic pipeline.
Telix Europe president Ms Odile Jaume said, “The Nantes nuclear research cluster is one of the finest translational environments in Europe, with a particular strength and capability in astatine, including production facilities and processes that are capable of making materials for human research. This collaboration has the potential to expand the clinical utility of Telix’s technology and build a set of ‘next generation’ products that may deliver even greater clinical utility to cancer patients.”
Professor Michel Chérel (team leader, INSERM University of Nantes) and Dr Jean-Francois Gestin (radiochemistry development) noted, “We are pleased to be working with Telix to progress the use of astatine in a clinical setting. This partnership is a great example of translational research aiming at truly personalized medicine in France and beyond. The clinical translation of astatine therapy will be performed in the nuclear medicine department of Nantes Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) and l'Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest (ICO) chaired by Professor Françoise Kraeber-Bodéré, in collaboration with the Labex IRON network (Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals in Oncology and Neurology) and “Le SIRIC ILIAD” (Imaging and Longitudinal Investigations to Ameliorate Decision-making in Multiple Myeloma and Breast Cancer).”
Professor Ferid Haddad, director of ARRONAX added, “Our facility has been established with the development of alpha-nuclide therapy in mind. To this end, this highly innovative partnership with Telix is an important step forward and we believe that it will result in the development of new cancer treatment strategies.”