Nuclide therapy atoms to go into mass production in China

Updated: 2019-11-20

Mass production of nuclides -- a special species of atoms which all have the same atomic number and mass number -- is due to start in China for use in cutting-edge medical treatment, according to officials.

China Isotope & Radiation Corporation (CIRC), a company under the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said in a statement on Nov 18 that it had signed a technology license agreement with ITM, a German biotechnology and radiopharmaceuticals group.

Under its terms CIRC will produce the 68Ge-68Ga generator and carrier free Lu-177 in China and join ITM's global supply network, becoming the fourth supply partner for ITM after Australia, South Africa and the United States.

Officials said the agreement means CIRC will realize large-scale production of the products in China -- effectively ensuring it can meet the demand for them in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in the country.

Scientists say the Ga-68 and carrier free Lu-177 are the most prospective nuclides in the world, which can effectively be used in the targeted radioactive diagnosis and treatment of tumors.

Both are radiopharmaceuticals -- for the diagnosis and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors, prostate cancer, breast cancer, cancer bone metastasis, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other tumors -- that have come onto overseas markets, or are being used in clinical experimental research.

Under the agreement, CIRC will bring advanced nuclides production technology and medical nuclides quality control programs to China.

This will be to provide, in a better and timelier manner, new radionuclides and services for the Chinese market. 

Officials said it would promote the healthy development and internationalization of China's nuclear technology industry and radiopharmaceuticals industry, as well as promote the development of national health.