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WP1: Functional imaging of neurological diseases

Molecular imaging of neurodegenerative diseases is becoming the cornerstone of the exploration of these diseases allowing to consider: 1) early diagnosis, 2) personalized medicine, 3) monitoring the efficacy of treatment. Moreover, it is a tool of choice for the development and validation of new treatments.
The overall objective of this WP is to develop this functional imaging with a translational research from the development of tracers for new targets to clinical studies. The strength of this WP is to be multidisciplinary (biology, radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, nuclear medicine, psychiatry, neurology, expertise for multicenter clinical trials), and have a network of high level infrastructures to carry out this fundamental, clinical, academic, or  industrial research.
The topics being addressed (not exhaustive):

  •   Abnormal protein deposit: clinical trials on amyloid plaques and Tau protein imaging, development of alpha-synuclein tracers.
  •   Neurotransmission: development of tracers for cholinergic vesicular transporter and nicotinic alpha 7 receptor.
  • Neuroinflammation: identification of novel targets of neuroinflammation for both diagnostic and therapy, development of novel tracers for molecular imaging.

Scintigraphie des plaques amyloïdes avec le 18F-AV45 A: sujet sain B: sujet Alzheimer

Imaging of amyloid plaques with 18F-AV45
A: Healthy control B: Alzheimer disease

WP2: Functional and phenotype imaging in neurology and oncology

The objective of this WP is to develop molecules for functional and phenotype imaging in neurology and oncology with transverse and translational approaches ranging from the production of new radionuclides for the development of new tracers to clinical studies.
The topics being addressed (not exhaustive):

  • The development of new functional imaging approaches including tracers of hypoxia. This program aims to develop the production of copper-64 (64Cu) according to the criteria of good manufacturing practices (GMP) in the ARRONAX cyclotron in Nantes and the CYRCé cyclotron in Strasbourg, and validate the usefulness of new tracers hypoxia using 64Cu (including 64Cu-ATSM) with preclinical and clinical approaches in oncology (glioma, uterine and breast cancers, multiple myeloma ) and neurology (cerebral ischemia ) as compared to existing PET markers (e.g. [18F]-FMISO). Will also be developed in this WP more selective radiopharmaceuticals than the existing ones such as [18F]fludarabine for imaging lymphoma.
  • The development of new phenotype imaging approaches to improve the diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of cancer. In addition to 64Cu, ARRONAX and CYRCé cyclotrons will provide access to other innovative radionuclides for diagnostic applications (scandium-44/44m, gallium-68, zirconium-89) and therapy (copper-67, scandium -47, astatine-211) in oncology more suitable for the targeted therapy and immuno-PET

Several clinical trials are already underway for different types of cancer (breast, lung, thyroid, myeloma and many carcinomas ).
This WP associates multidisciplinary approaches (chemistry/radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, biology, preclinical, clinical)  to foster the development of transverse and translational, academic and industrial research.

WP2 image

WP3: Nanomedicine and radionuclide therapy

This WP includes the design of nanomedicines and their uses in molecular radiotherapy (peptides, antibodies, polymers) or particulate radiotherapy (nanocapsules, liposomes), the coupling with the radionuclide being performed by chelation or by encapsulation.
Radionuclides considered for beta emitters are rhenium-188, yttrium-90, copper-67, and scandium-47 while among alpha emitters, we limited our choice to astatine-211. For the production of some of these radionuclides (67Cu, 47Sc, 211At), an initial step of development conducted in the cyclotron ARRONAX  is necessary. This development is part of this WP. Other radionuclides are produced by classical generators (188Re, 90Y).
Depending on the type of nanomedicine used, the main diseases targeted are glioblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, breast cancer and lung cancer, alpha-immunotherapy is essentially dedicated to the treatment of multiple myeloma and prostate cancer.

Nanomédecine particulaire

Particulate nanomedicine