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Gallium-based pet imaging for medicine and oncology

The project is aiming at developing an innovative gallium-based pet imaging technology, whose final application is a radiopharmaceutical allowing a better diagnosis of cancer when fdg lacks efficacy or sensitivity.

GALLIMED is a collaborative research project in the field of nuclear medicine and oncology. It is aimed at proposing a new radiotracer for PET imaging (Position Emission Tomography) allowing for improving metastases staging and detection primary cancers. PET imaging has been dramatically growing over the last ten years thanks especially to the radiotracer FDG (Fluoro-Deoxyglucose), which allowed for remarkable advances in cancer detection. Nevertheless, in spite of its undeniable contribution, FDG has clinical limits. Thus many clinical diagnostic needs are still unsatisfied in oncology. The project gathers three partners: the French company GUERBET, specialist in contrast agents for medical imaging, the Canadian company MDS NORDION and its Belgian R&D subsidiary, leader in the field of isotopes used for molecular imaging, and the French in-vivo radio-imaging research centre CYCERON. The radiotracer developed within GALLIMED will be based on a new PET innovative technology using gallium-68, allowing the creation of radiotracers targeting the CXCR4 receptor, over-expressed in many cancers and metastases. The 3.5-year work plan consists in setting up a new GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) gallium-68 generator, in designing the non-radioactive ligand linked to a molecule with high affinity to the CXCR4 receptor (cold kit), in defining the complex process of the cold kit with gallium-68 coming from the generator, in obtaining imaging proof of concept of the radiotracer in animal first, then in humans during a preliminary clinical trial, and finally, in carrying out regulatory preclinical toxicity studies, in order to get all necessary pieces of information to continue the radiotracer clinical development. The radiopharmaceuticals market was valued at 2.4 billion dollars in 2007. The European diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals segment, seeing steady and rapid growth over the last few years, is assessed at 441 million dollars. The radioactive isotope generator market is valuated 225 million dollars. The GALLIMED project will allow for developing two marketable products: the GMP gallium-68 generator and the CXCR4 targeting radiotracer. Both products will be sold from 2017 after further development steps are carried out. Worldwide generator sales will amount to 50 million euro ten years after launching, and worldwide radiotracer sales will exceed 300 million euro.
Acronym: 
GALLIMED
Project ID: 
4 553
Start date: 
01-04-2009
Project Duration: 
42months
Project costs: 
8 360 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
Market Area: 
Medical imaging

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