UC DavisHealth System, PETNET Solutions Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc., and Northern California PET Imaging Center (NCPIC) announced today that they will partner to establish a facility on the university’s Sacramento campus for research and training in radiochemistry and for the commercial production of radiopharmaceutical products used in positron emission tomography (PET) scans — an imaging technique that provides molecular information important for diagnosing disease and conducting clinical research.
Under the terms of the partnership, 12,000 square feet of available space will be used to house state-of-the-art equipment and research laboratories, enabling industry and academia to work side-by-side to advance clinical care. PETNET Solutions, which operates the world’s largest network of FDA-registered establishments for the production and distribution of PET radiopharmaceuticals, plans to set up manufacturing and distribution operations in part of the space. NCPIC, which became the first freestanding PET imaging center in the nation when it opened in 1992, anticipates creating a scale-up laboratory for biomarker production. UC Davis will establish laboratories for research scientists and trainees.
The multimillion-dollar project will include the installation of two medical cyclotrons for the production of high-demand PET radioisotopes now utilized in clinical applications around the world. Because the most commonly used PET radioisotopes have a short radioactive half-life and are often usable for only a few minutes to hours, close proximity to the new manufacturing and distribution facility benefits UC Davis’ research activities and clinical-care needs throughout the Sacramento region.
Julie Sutcliffe, associate professor in the departments of biomedical engineering and hematology and oncology at UC Davis, will oversee the new research and training program, which is aimed at developing specialized molecular imaging agents used to target diseases related to oncology, neurology and cardiology. The laboratory will be an important training site for scientists from around the country who are interested in creating new compounds and technologies to advance the field of molecular imaging.
“One of our key goals is to bring much greater precision to the diagnosis and treatment of disease,” said Sutcliffe, who specializes in cancer imaging research and serves as director of radiochemistry for the UC Davis Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging. “Having a cutting-edge commercial production facility right on the other side of the wall from our research laboratory allows immediate access to the infrastructure and tools we need to advance patient care and health, and it will provide unique opportunities to commercialize and distribute novel compounds we discover or develop.”
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