Greater Toronto Area better equipped to produce radiopharmaceutical components used in cancer, cardiac and Alzheimer's detection

TORONTO, July 7, 2015 /CNW/ - A new cyclotron and radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, opened by ISOLOGIC Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals Ltd. (ISOLOGIC) at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, is expanding access to positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals (PERs), an essential component in molecular imaging commonly referred to as PET imaging.

PET imaging is widely used in other Canadian provinces and worldwide in the diagnosis of cancer, cardiac, and neurological diseases.

"PET scans are increasingly revolutionizing the early diagnosis of many diseases including heart disease and cancer," said Andre Gagnon, President of ISOLOGIC. "In Canada, over 43,000 patients are administered PET scans every year and this type of imaging is rapidly expanding here and internationally,"

ISOLOGIC's Toronto-based facility immediately establishes the supply of these short-lived medical isotopes necessary to promote and grow the accessibility of PET imaging in the Greater Toronto Area and throughout Ontario. To date, utilization of PET imaging in Ontario has lagged behind other Canadian provinces and Europe.

Now through the ISOLOGIC facility, hospital-based Nuclear Medicine / PET departments and independent imaging centres can easily and quickly access radiopharmaceuticals, assuring radiologists a dedicated supply chain. This assurance is another positive step towards placing PET imaging machines in Ontario that will increase public access and have a positive impact on public health care.

ISOLOGIC's Toronto-based facility will also provide radioisotope supply and support to molecular imaging research based at Ontario's many academic and tertiary medical centers and will soon begin production of radiopharmaceuticals to identify components of Alzheimer's disease to support clinical trials throughout Canada.

ISOLOGIC's new facility provides a local solution to a looming crisis that will impact nuclear medicine worldwide.  The supply of medical isotopes is highly dependent on the aging Canadian Chalk River nuclear reactor, which now produces approximately 40 percent of the world's supply. It is scheduled to close in 2016, potentially affecting the 5,500 nuclear medicine procedures performed in Canada daily. The ISOLOGIC operations provide an alternative radiopharmaceutical that produces a scan with greater sensitivity and resolution than existing procedures.

"Patient care was impacted by the unexpected 15-month shutdown of the Chalk River reactor in 2009, so this facility at Sunnybrook is part of an effort to ensure we're prepared for its permanent closure," said Andre Gagnon.

ISOLOGIC's newest facility houses an IBA cyclotron, a particle accelerator with six different targets (meaning it is capable of creating six different isotopes that each have different medical applications), imaging agent synthesis modules capable of manufacturing over 10 different PET imaging agents (each with a different disease process to image), and equipment to package and transport the nuclear medicine. A radiopharmaceutical team maintains operation of the facility around the clock and in one day can produce over 100 doses for patients receiving PET scans. Due to the isotopes' short half-life, ISOLOGIC transport teams deliver the doses directly to imaging centres in the Greater Toronto Area and across western Canada.

About ISOLOGIC Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals

ISOLOGIC Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals (ISOLOGIC) is a Canadian radiopharmaceutical company dedicated to providing complete radiopharmaceutical services to the SPECT and PET diagnostic imaging communities. Their commitment to these fields includes cyclotron centres and SPECT and PET radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities throughout Canada. Their facilities are fully licensed by Health Canada (Health Products Regulatory Authority) and have been supplying PET and SPECT radiopharmaceuticals and related research biotracers to imaging centres across Canada since 2006. ISOLOGIC has joint partnerships with academic centers and tertiary medical centers to enable practitioners and researchers access to PET cyclotrons, radionuclides and PET radiolabelling labs as an incubator for new metabolic imaging agents. ISOLOGIC's support of these collaborations provides an evolutionary pathway from research radiotracers to new imaging agents to advances in medical therapies. ISOLOGIC's initiatives and professional expertise provide an effective and complete radiopharmaceutical service package. The company is committed to providing Canadian patients with the safest, highest quality commercially approved radiopharmaceuticals, and has been successful in achieving the highest cyclotron uptime record in the industry.

ISOLOGIC's network of SPECT & PET radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities located in Lachine, Quebec, Ottawa, Burlington and Toronto, Ontario, provide radiopharmaceutical services and support to Hospital Group Purchase Organizations, regional health care systems, as well as stand-alone Independent Healthcare Facilities, clinics and hospitals. Our open formulary of radiopharmaceuticals and medical devices provides nuclear medicine physicians and radiologists a flexibility of choice, with all radiopharmaceuticals having been approved by Health Canada as safe and effective.

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SOURCE IsoLogic Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals

For further information: For media requests contact: Derek Mletzko, Counsel Public Affairs Inc, 416-920-0716 x212; For company information contact: Gerard Strugala, Vice President, Global Operations, ISOLOGIC Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals Ltd, 1855 32nd Avenue, Lachine, Quebec H8T 3J1, 732-539-9395

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