RUSNANO Gives Financing Nod to Regional PET-Center Network

27 October 2011

During the IV International Nanotechnology Forum, RUSNANO and administrations of four Russian regions signed an agreement on establishing a regional network of centers for positron emission tomography with in-house production of radiopharmaceuticals.

RUSNANO Gives Financing Nod to Regional PET-Center Network

The project is being realized within the framework of investment agreement, to which RUSNANO, Rosmedtechnologii, and Medilux, a Hungarian industrial, commercial, and consulting conglomerate, are parties. Total financing for the project is pegged at 2.4 billion rubles. RUSNANO’s share in co-investment is up to 1.2 billion rubles. Company PET-Technology is being founded to carry out the project.

During the first stage of project implementation, centers for positron emission tomography will be set up in regional center cities of Voronezh, Lipetsk, Orel, and Ufa and equipped with seven scanners in sum. To provide the PET centers with the radiopharmaceuticals, the project company will establish production of isotope 18O and organize two cyclotron sites-in Lipetsk and Orel-for production of short-lived isotopes. Design capacity of the cyclotrons will permit expansion in the number of regions participating in the project, allowing the placement of PET centers in three or four more regions of the Russian Federation.

PET is used primarily for the diagnosis of cancers, including diagnosis in early stages. This method of evaluating a patient’s condition is also applied in cardiology and neurology. Radiopharmaceuticals are selectively absorbed by tumor tissues and tissues whose metabolic activity is high. Thanks to that characteristic, it is possible to diagnosis illnesses with PET earlier than with other methods, such as magnetic resonance tomography and computed tomography-MRT and CT, respectively. PET can also determine the boundaries of a pathological process, which means maximum preservation of healthy tissue when an operation to remove the cancer is required. The combination of PET and CT functions in one instrument uses the advantages of both methods-a three-dimensional view of functional changes in tissue is superimposed with high resolution on a three-dimensional image of internal organs.

The number of PET diagnostic procedures conducted in Russia currently lags far behind developed countries. By undertaking the project, RUSNANO will facilitate, at a minimum, a doubling of the number of diagnostic procedures of this type that are carried out in the country. In the United States more than 600 diagnostic procedures are performed using PET per 100,000 persons each year. In Italy that number is more than 250; in Germany, more than 60, but in Russia—7. PET centers are concentrated in Moscow (three) and St. Petersburg (three), and there is one in Chelyabinsk.

In the four regions where PET centers will be placed, experts forecast a drop in the death rate of 300 persons per year through early and exact diagnosis. The production technology for isotope 18O, using low-temperature rectification in the presence of isotope exchange reactions on the nanoclusters, will enable the project to meet demand from the Russian PET centers and enter the international market for diagnostic agents.

 

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RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO’s mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.