A more affordable drug for neuroendocrine tumors diagnostics passing preclinical tests

Leading researchers, physicists, and materials scientists of the Research School of Chemistry & Applied Biomedical Sciences of Tomsk Polytechnic University are engaged in the creation of diagnostic and therapeutic drugs, in particular for oncology. The Director of the School Mekhman Yusubov stated at the press conference on 27 April 2018 that one of the developed diagnostic drugs is now passing preclinical tests. The tests should be completed by the end of 2018. This is a drug for the diagnostics of neuroendocrine tumors, which was obtained together with physicists and oncologists.

Photo: TPU scientists Mekhman Yusubov, Alexey Pestryakov, and Roman Surmenev at the press conference (From the left to the right )

‘Diagnostic drugs should be affordable therefore it is necessary to reduce their cost.

Moscow-based company Pharm-Syntez has been already producing a drug for diagnostics of neuroendocrine tumors. They use the expensive radionuclide indium-111 (111In), we replaced it with more affordable and cheaper radionuclide technetium. The challenge was how to combine antigen and technetium. For this, we synthesized a special linker. Based on the results of the tests Pharm-Sintez is ready to produce a new technetium-based drug,’ clarified the director of the school.

Another drug – for the diagnostics of prostate tumor – will also pass preclinical tests soon.

‘In this case, we proposed to replace pricey actinium with technetium. We have passed preliminary reviews and now we are awaiting the announcement of the Pharma-2020 competition for funding preclinical research,’ says Mekhman Yusubov.

The Research School of Chemistry & Applied Biomedical Sciences was established in October 2017 at Tomsk Polytechnic University. It is aimed at training of highly qualified researchers, the creation of breakthrough developments in chemistry, medicine, and materials science. The school became a platform for effective cooperation of scientists who conduct research that is of interest to Russia and the world.  An example of such cooperation are radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment and diagnostics of cancer. The school unites 11 research teams, which conduct promising studies related to medicine and biotechnology in close cooperation with leading foreign scientists in their field.