NPI cooperates with Eckert & Ziegler on Actinium-225 for targeted cancer therapy

13. 05. 2022

NPI of the CAS has entered into a long-term cooperation agreement with Eckert & Ziegler AG, a German specialist in medical radionuclides, to produce the alpha emitter Actinium-225.

The agreement envisions Eckert & Ziegler to provide the NPI research center with several million euros for investments in equipment and hot cells, as well as radium-226 as a starting material for experiments and irradiations. In return, the Eckert & Ziegler group gets exclusive access to the capacities of a pilot unit being built within the next two years in Řež close to Prague and joint rights to the process steps developed for a large-scale Ac-225 commercial production.

As a starting material, there were drawing on a stock of radium-226 that Eckert & Ziegler accumulated in its recycling business during the take-back of medical radiation sources.

Actinium-225 is used as an active ingredient in cancer treatment. The radionuclide emits powerful, high-energy cascade of alpha particles with short penetration depths that enable precise treatment of tumor cells, including difficult-to-target micro metastases, with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissue.

Actinium-225-based radiopharmaceuticals are being tested in many clinical indications, including prostate tumors, colorectal cancer, and leukemia. Specialists expect the demand for Actinium-225 to increase exponentially over the next decade.

To start this cooperation, the Czech Academy of Sciences and NPI has issued a joint press release in Czech, which you can find here. The Eckert & Ziegler press release in English can be found here.

Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS