New centre will advance use of radiopharmaceuticals
November 7, 2018
VANCOUVER – TRIUMF, a particle-accelerator centre, hosted a visit from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (pictured) to announce funding and construction of the Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI). The state-of-the-art facility will conduct research into next-generation, life-saving medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals.
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.
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.
“The Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes is a transformative project that will improve the health of Canadians,” said Dr. Jonathan Bagger, director, TRIUMF. “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.”
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.
“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,” said Dr. Francois Bénard, Vice President, Research, BC Cancer. “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.”