Isotop JSC (part of Rusatom Healthcare, Rosatom’s radiation technologies integrator) on 9 June signed a five-year contract with Brazil’s Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN, part of the National Nuclear Energy Commission, CNEN) to supply medical isotopes lutetium-177 and actinium-225.

The conclusion of a long-term contract for monthly supplies of lutetium-177 trichloride with a carrier followed the successful completion of the registration procedure for Lu-177 manufactured by Russia’s IRM JSC (Zarechny, Sverdlovsk region) and approval by the Brazilian National Agency for Sanitary Supervision of the Russian-made radioisotope for further registration for the radiopharmaceutical DOT-IPEN-177, manufactured by IPEN/CNEN. The contract strengthens the position of Rosatom as the largest supplier of radioisotopes in the Latin American market.

Lutetium-177 is one of the most promising radionuclides serving as the basis for the production of innovative radiopharmaceuticals. Lu-177 has shown high efficiency in targeted therapy of a number of oncological diseases, including metastatic forms of castration-resistant prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumours, lung cancer, etc. Rosatom is currently the only company in the world with the technological capability to produce all types of lutetium-177. The production capacities of IRM, which was established under the strategic programme Development of Nuclear Medicine and Technologies, will further increase the volume of supplied products.

Actinium-225 is currently being used in the development of an advanced radiopharmaceutical based on actinium-225-PSMA, which will be a new product for nuclear medicine in Brazil and will be produced by IPEN/CNEN. Since October 2020, Isotop has delivered several batches of Ac-225 produced by the AI Leipunsky Institute of Physics & Power Engineering (Obninsk, Kaluga region) to the IPEN/CNEN Radiopharmaceutical Centre for evaluation of the quality of the product, and the possibility of using Russian-made actinium-225 with peptides.

The development of technologies for the production of lutetium-177 and actinium-225 trichloride, as well as their production, are organised at the institutes of Rosatom’s scientific division (JSC Science and Innovations). Today, dozens of radiopharmaceuticals based on the isotopes of lutetium-177 and actinium-225 are at various stages of clinical trials worldwide. 

“This contract is the result of many years of meticulous work on both sides. It is of great social importance, as it opens up new possibilities for the treatment of thousands of patients,” said Natalia Komarova, Director General of Rusatom Healthcare. “Rosatom, which has a unique technological base for research reactors, produces the widest range of medical isotopes. One of the key tasks of Rusatom Healthcare is to increase the availability of radionuclide products, which are the foundation of nuclear medicine. Cooperation with IPEN/CNEN is an example of international cooperation aimed at introducing high technologies in the treatment of oncology all over the world.”

Relations between Rosatom and IPEN/CNEN in the field of nuclear medicine have been developing since the conclusion in 2017 of a contract for the supply of traditional medical isotopes (molybdenum-99, iodine-131). The contract was signed within the framework of an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Brazil. Currently, Rosatom provides about 50% of Brazil's demand for medical isotopes.