Rosatom subsidiary V/O Izotop has delivered the radioisotope lutetium-177 to Italy, to one of the leading medical institutions in the Puglia region — the consortium of hospitals and universities Policlinico di Bari.
This followed signature of a memorandum of understanding in November 2019 by Rosatom's companies – V/O Izotop and Rusatom Healthskea — with the administration of the Apulia region (Italy). The purpose is to assess the quality of lutetium-177, as well as to confirm the sustainability of the supply chain and its compliance with European standards and Euratom regulations.
Lutetium-177 is seen as a promising treatment in a number of cancers. Rosatom is currently one of the three largest world manufacturers of this radioisotope. Following a quality assessment, Policlinico di Bari confirmed that V/O Izotop’s lutetium-177 met all the necessary requirements of European legislation and pharmacopoeia (in particular, EU GMP) and could be used for further production of a radiopharmaceutical.
At a meeting held on 21 October at the Policlinico di Bari Consortium attended by the Russian companies, Rusatom Healthskea general director Alexander Shibanov said: “This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated to the world the importance of international health cooperation. We believe that at present the active cooperation of countries with their own unique competencies in the development of nuclear medicine technologies, in the future, will allow creating the most effective tools for combating [cancer]."
Despite the pandemic, the delivery of lutetium-177 went as planned, involving a journey of more than 5000km. Lutetium-177, produced at the Institute of Reactor Materials (Zarechny, Sverdlovsk region), was sent to Europe for the final processing before being delivered to Policlinico di Bari.
Rusatom Healthskea said the supply of lutetium-177 to Italy opens up new opportunities for Rosatom in the development of competencies in the field of production and expansion of the geography of supplies of radionuclide products for nuclear medicine.