Algeta wins grant to develop alpha-pharmaceuticals based on Thorium-227

Norwegian firm to create pipeline of cancer-destroying drugs

Norwegian firm Algeta, a developer of targeted cancer therapeutics, has been awarded a NOK10.5m (US$1.9m) grant from the Research Council of Norway to develop Targeted Thorium Conjugates (TTCs), novel tumour-targeted alpha-pharmaceuticals based on thorium-227.

Algeta said Thorium-227 is an element that emits high-energy alpha particles, which are potent at killing tumour cells and have a highly localised effect as a result of the very short range of the alpha particle (2–10 cell diameters). It is linked to tumour-targeting carrier molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, to reach its target.

By conjugating Thorium-227 to a number of such molecules, each with a different tumour target, Algeta is exploring the potential to create a pipeline of new-generation alpha-pharmaceuticals to specifically seek and destroy cancers while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

To date, Algeta has signed a research collaboration to develop TTCs with Genzyme and an exclusive licence with Affibody.

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