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Prime Minister of Canada Announces Establishment of Premier Centre for Advanced Medical Isotope Research and Development at TRIUMF

By November 2, 2018No Comments

This afternoon, TRIUMF welcomed on-site The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, for a special visit and announcement about public investments into medical isotope research and innovation infrastructure.

During his visit to Canada’s particle accelerator centre – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2018 – the Prime Minister announced funding to construct the Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI), a premier centre for the life sciences that will expand Canada’s role in fast-moving advances in nuclear medicine that will improve health and save lives.

The Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI) will be a state-of-the-art facility for research into next-generation, life-saving medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals. Located on TRIUMF’s campus, it will comprise an integrated series of labs and a TR-24 medical cyclotron, one of the most technologically advanced commercial cyclotrons in the world.

With investment from the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and contributions from TRIUMF, BC Cancer Foundation, the University of British Columbia, the construction of the IAMI facility is valued at $31.8M. With additional equipment and philanthropic funding, the total value of the IAMI project will be more than $50M.

IAMI will offer:

  • Secure isotope supplies
    • IAMI promises to secure a local supply of several important medical isotopes, including critical imaging isotope 99mTc, and to enable Canadian access to the global 99mTc market.
  • Next-generation cancer therapies
    • By developing targeted radionuclide therapies for metastatic cancers, IAMI researchers will contribute to improving health outcomes for Canadians, place Canada at the centre of this promising, fast-growing field, and allow Canadian access to radionuclide therapy markets
  • Accelerated global drug development
    • Some early-stage drug development trials rely on highly sought-after isotope-based radiotracers to gauge drug efficacy. IAMI will provide a unique infrastructure for radiotracer production, positioning Canada as a key player in this space.
  • Improved health outcomes for Canadians
    • IAMI will supply additional isotopes to the TRIUMF-UBC neuroimaging program at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and bring the power of personalized medicine to more patients who suffer from addiction, dementia, and other mental health issues. It will also boost the supply and diversity of important positron-emission tomography (PET) isotopes for BC Cancer patients, enabling thousands of PET scans annually at UBC and BC Cancer sites.
  • Industry partnerships and investment
    • IAMI will provide certified infrastructure for isotope production, enabling the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic substances by industry partners. The Institute will also establish a powerful training platform — at the interface between science and business — for young researchers.


“For 50 years TRIUMF has demonstrated the best of Canadian scientific ingenuity, and continues to make discoveries that improve the lives of people in B.C. and across Canada. The Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes is just the latest addition to an astonishing body of work that has made TRIUMF a world leader in research for half a century.” – Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology

“The Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes is a transformative project that will improve the health of Canadians. Through IAMI, TRIUMF and its partners will advance research into next-generation, life-saving medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals. IAMI will provide the facilities necessary to connect bench to bedside and translate scientific breakthroughs into real-world treatments for cancer and other diseases.” – Dr. Jonathan Bagger, Director, TRIUMF

“With the new IAMI facility and BC Cancer’s partnership with TRIUMF we will have the most innovative infrastructure and minds working to develop advanced, highly targeted cancer therapeutics. Thanks to the vision and investments from the governments of Canada and British Columbia and a generous anonymous donation to BC Cancer Foundation, IAMI will bring hope and improve outcomes for people facing cancer across our nation.” – Dr. Francois Bénard, Vice President, Research, BC Cancer

“This investment is a powerful boost in strengthening translational medicine to improve health care for Canadians.” – Dr. Dermot Kelleher, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President Health, University of British Columbia