APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Efficient, inexpensive, and scalable process
- No co-production of radioactive impurities to hinder use in patients
- Long half-life
- 4 α-decays capable of producing the sort of double-strand DNA damage needed to deter tumor growth
- Produces no long-lived radioactive products in its decay
Ac-225 is among several isotopes that can be coupled to cancer-targeting molecules in an emerging form of highly precise treatment referred to as targeted alpha-therapy. However, the isotope is limited in supply and extremely expensive.
Researchers led by Berkeley Lab’s Lee Bernstein have developed an efficient, scalable technology to produce radionuclides, including Actinium-225 (Ac-225), that are free of contamination from both fission fragments and Actinium-227. Therefore, unlike other production routes, this technology expands the use of Ac-225 to patients other than those near death.
The Berkeley Lab technology involves irradiating Radium-226, a naturally-occurring isotope, with an energetic neutron beam from thick-target deuteron breakup, to form Radium-225. This nuclide, in turn, decays into Actiniun-225, which is then chemically-separated from the Radium-226 for use in producing radiopharmaceuticals.
The production of radioisotopes using energetic “secondary” neutron beams from thick-target deuteron breakup is a novel concept, as virtually all medical radionuclides are produced using charged-particle or low-energy neutron beams. By increasing supply and decreasing cost of Ac-225, the technology enables pharmaceutical companies to produce Ac-225 doped PSMA-617 for use in cancer treatment.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Oral Dosage Forms for Actinide Decorporation Agent 2016-079