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CDRD & TRIUMF Announce Collaboration to Revolutionize the Fight against Cancer with Targeted Alpha Therapy

By April 8, 2019No Comments

CDRD, Canada’s life sciences venture, TRIUMF, the country’s national particle accelerator centre, and TRIUMF Innovations, the centre’s commercialization arm have joined forces to advance and commercialize promising research in the field of novel radiopharmaceuticals. Speaking at the 11th International Symposium on Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT 11) in Ottawa, the organizations announced today a new partnership that brings together their respective R&D, manufacturing, and commercialization strengths to develop innovative, personalized cancer treatments.

Radiopharmaceuticals present a highly-promising, expanding therapeutic opportunity that involves selective delivery of isotopes that emit highly energetic particles to cancer cells leading to their destruction, while minimizing collateral damage to healthy surrounding cells. Radiopharmaceuticals that utilize alpha emitting isotopes are referred to as ‘targeted alpha therapies’ (TAT) and have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment; however, to date, TAT have been a niche player in the global oncology market due primarily to a limited supply of isotopes.

By combining TRIUMF’s expertise in manufacturing isotopes and radiolabelling conjugates with CDRD’s ability to identify and validate potential biological targets to develop therapeutic agents such as monoclonal antibodies, new “weaponized targeted therapies” can be created for the treatment of cancers with significant unmet medical need. In doing so, the organizations are leveraging two of Canada’s complementary national strengths to create a unique global competitive advantage; while also enabling an integrated health sciences ecosystem that bridges the gap between academic research, commercialization, and patient care in targeted alpha therapeutics.

To further bridge this gap, CDRD and TRIUMF/TRIUMF Innovations will also collaborate with leading academic and clinical researchers, building on existing partnerships with leaders in the field such as Dr. François Bénard, Vice President of Research and Distinguished Scientist at BC Cancer, and Professor and BC Leadership Chair in Functional Cancer Imaging in the Department of Radiology at the University of British Columbia.

“We are excited to enter a new area of research and commercialization around ground-breaking targeted alpha therapies, and to be working with TRIUMF, given their internationally-renowned expertise in the areas of isotope manufacturing and radiochemistry,” said Dr. Lana Janes, the Venture Partner leading the charge for CDRD. “Targeted alpha therapy is one of CDRD’s key areas of strategic focus and priority, and we ultimately look to leverage and translate the competitive advantage Canada holds in the area into a new company of scale for the country’s life sciences industry.”

“Partnerships and collaboration are catalysts for scientific discovery and technological innovation, and our radiochemistry scientists and researchers have a strong history of collaborating with a diverse, international network of clinical and life scientists to turn fundamental research into new radiopharmaceuticals,” added Kathryn Hayashi, President and CEO of TRIUMF Innovations. “CDRD’s scientific and business capabilities make them an ideal partner to achieve new advancements in the field of cancer treatments through nuclear medicine — and as innovation becomes more complex, requiring a convergence of multi-disciplinary talents and resources.”