[News-releases] MDS Nordion, TRIUMF, and UBC Announce Partnership to Develop New Diagnostic Imaging Agents

Tim Meyer tmeyer at triumf.ca
Mon May 4 06:05:32 PDT 2009

For Immediate Release


OTTAWA, CANADA, May 4, 2009 - MDS Nordion, a leading global provider of
medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals used in molecular medicine,
TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, and
the University of British Columbia, today announced that they have entered
into a three-year research-and-development partnership to pursue the
development of new diagnostic imaging agents - medical isotope products
using technology based on radiometals and chelates.

Radiometals are a class of medical isotopes that has been the backbone of
nuclear medicine for decades, and are currently used in 80% of nuclear
medicine procedures. Scientists will combine select radiometals with newly
developed chelates - substances that bind to radiometals and protect them as
they are carried through the body - with the goal to provide new agents for
the diagnoses and treatment of cancer and heart disease.

"This strategic partnership with TRIUMF and UBC is expected to accelerate
innovation, which could provide the opportunity to commercialize new
molecular medicine products," said MDS Nordion President Steve West. "Our
combined capabilities and technical expertise will create a dynamic setting
in which to develop new tools for physicians to detect disease earlier and
more precisely, and to offer breakthrough treatments for patients."

Under the terms of the agreement, MDS Nordion, TRIUMF and UBC provide
complementary expertise in chelate design and synthesis, analytical
chemistry and radiochemistry. MDS Nordion will provide required medical
isotopes produced at its facility on the TRIUMF campus. Each partner will
provide funding and in kind contributions for the project, and the Natural
Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will provide a
grant through its co-operative research-and-development program.

"With a partnership that has spanned more than 30 years, TRIUMF and MDS
Nordion have been focused on medical isotopes as a raw material," said
TRIUMF Director Nigel Lockyer. "We are now expanding this relationship to
collaboratively develop value-added products - isotopes combined with
specific molecules - to drive new innovations in the field of molecular
imaging technology."

MDS Nordion, TRIUMF and UBC researchers will explore alternative
technologies, as well as experiment with new modalities for diagnostic
imaging and treatments. "UBC is delighted to work with MDS Nordion and
TRIUMF on this research project," said Don Brooks, Associate
Vice-President Research at UBC.  "It is partnerships like this one, enabled
by NSERC, that help connect basic research with real-world value. Each of
these partners brings something unique and important to this initiative."

-- ends --

MEDIA: Shelley Maclean (613) 592-3400, ext. 2414 shelley.maclean at mdsinc.com

CONTACT TRIUMF: Dr. Timothy I. Meyer (604) 222-7674 tmeyer at triumf.ca

CONTACT UBC: Brian Lin (604) 818-5685 brian.lin at ubc.ca

Timothy I. Meyer, Ph.D.
Head, Strategic Planning and Communications
4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 2A3
Tel: 604-222-7674
E-mail: tmeyer at triumf.ca

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