TOKYO & OSAKA, Japan—Fuzionaire Radioisotope Technologies K.K. (FRIT), a Japanese affiliate of radiopharmaceutical company Fuzionaire Diagnostics, Inc., has announced a collaborative research agreement with the department of Nuclear Medicine and Tracer Kinetics at Osaka University's Graduate School of Medicine.
The collaboration intends to use Fuzionaire’s proprietary chemistry and Osaka’s unique clinical and radiochemistry capabilities to accelerate the discovery of novel anti-cancer radiotherapeutic agents.
“The Department of Nuclear Medicine and Tracer Kinetics at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine is one of Japan’s leading nuclear medicine departments, with particular expertise in alpha nuclides for cancer therapy,” said Hiroshi Nakashita, M.D., FRIT’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to collaborating with leaders in the field on work that could greatly improve outcomes for patients with cancers that are difficult to treat using existing methods.”
The joint research effort aims to produce therapeutic molecules that contain astatine-211, a radioactive isotope, as the tumor-destroying payload. Astatine-211 emits alpha particles, which have enough energy to destroy cells. Unlike available treatments that emit beta particles, alpha particles penetrate a very limited distance, typically a depth of just a few cells. This makes it possible for alpha particles to treat isolated cancer cells, disseminated tumors, micro-metastases, and supplement conventional therapies that may leave undetectable tumors which could lead to a recurrence.
The initial research collaboration aims to identify clinical candidates for different oncology indications. It will also further explore Fuzionaire Dx’s fluorine-18 radiochemistry platform, which can produce radiopharmaceuticals that identify and localize cancerous tissue in positron emission tomography (PET) scans prior to radiotherapeutic intervention, and enable better treatment stratification and monitoring of patient response.
“We are very pleased to be working with the Fuzionaire team. This collaborative research agreement is consistent with our department’s vision to become a pipeline of drug development, moving our research from the laboratory into clinical trials,” noted Tadashi Watabe, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of Nuclear Medicine and Tracer Kinetics at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, as well as project research lead.
Primary leadership for the scientific collaboration includes Watabe and Anton Toutov, Ph.D., chief science officer of Fuzionaire.
“There are unique chemistry challenges associated with the synthesis of astatine-211 and fluorine-18 radiopharmaceuticals, and our insights in this area are among the technological foundations of our company,” added Toutov. “We are excited to combine Osaka’s clinical capabilities and infrastructure with our expertise and technology to develop treatments and diagnostics to impact cancer care.”