Research Themes Nanomedicine Time to image reducing drug development costs
In order to reduce the risks of failure of drug candidates in the clinical phase, there is a need for improved, rapid and reliable preclinical data on the effectiveness, bioavailability, and selectivity of a candidate drug. The non-invasive imaging technique, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), allows researchers to track, study, and analyze radiolabeled drug candidates, thereby yielding information on the selectivity, effectiveness and bioavailability of the labeled drug candidate. FutureChemistry, a spin-off from the RU, has the knowledge and technology to carry out the necessary chemical reactions in a controlled and continuous manner. In collaboration with Radboudumc, this knowledge has been translated into a microfluidic system that allows the efficient and reproducible coupling of radiolabels to molecules. The developed ‘flow-chemistry’ in combination with PET imaging in animal models now reduces the lengthy process of making and testing new drugs. In order to exploit this benefit, a successful EFRO-funded consortium initiated in 2013, offers the prospect for drug developers to make drug candidate go/no-go decisions at an early stage and thus significantly reduce the risk of failure in the more expensive clinical development phases. This can substantially reduce the costs of drug development which will lead to considerably lower costs  for the patient. Recently, a new HIDAC inhibitor was labelled with the radionuclide Fluorine-18 and microPET imaging studies in rats showed that this drug candidate substantially localized in the rat brain: the target organ of this drug candidate.