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MDS Nordion (MDZ), TRIUMF, and the University of British Columbia Announce Partnership to Develop New Diagnostic Imaging Agents



5/4/2009 9:17:36 AM

OTTAWA, May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - MDS Nordion, a leading global provider of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals used in molecular medicine, TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, and the University of British Columbia, today announced that they have entered into a three-year research-and-development partnership to pursue the development of new diagnostic imaging agents - medical isotope products using technology based on radiometals and chelates.

Radiometals are a class of medical isotopes that has been the backbone of nuclear medicine for decades, and are currently used in 80% of nuclear medicine procedures. Scientists will combine select radiometals with newly developed chelates - substances that bind to radiometals and protect them as they are carried through the body - with the goal to provide new agents for the diagnoses and treatment of cancer and heart disease.

"This strategic partnership with TRIUMF and UBC is expected to accelerate innovation, which could provide the opportunity to commercialize new molecular medicine products," said MDS Nordion President Steve West. "Our combined capabilities and technical expertise will create a dynamic setting in which to develop new tools for physicians to detect disease earlier and more precisely, and to offer breakthrough treatments for patients."

Under the terms of the agreement, MDS Nordion, TRIUMF and UBC provide complementary expertise in chelate design and synthesis, analytical chemistry and radiochemistry. MDS Nordion will provide required medical isotopes produced at its facility on the TRIUMF campus. Each partner will provide funding and in-kind contributions for the project, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will provide a grant through its co-operative research-and-development program.

"With a partnership that has spanned more than 30 years, TRIUMF and MDS Nordion have been focused on medical isotopes as a raw material," said TRIUMF Director Nigel Lockyer. "We are now expanding this relationship to collaboratively develop value-added products - isotopes combined with specific molecules - to drive new innovations in the field of molecular imaging technology."

MDS Nordion, TRIUMF and UBC researchers will explore alternative technologies, as well as experiment with new modalities for diagnostic imaging and treatments.

"UBC is delighted to work with MDS Nordion and TRIUMF on this research project," said Don Brooks, Associate Vice-President Research, at UBC "It is partnerships like this one, enabled by NSERC, that help connect basic research with real-world value. Each of these partners brings something unique and important to this initiative."

About the University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is one of Canada's largest public research and teaching institutions and ranks consistently among the top 35 universities in the world. It offers a range of innovative undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the arts, sciences, medicine, law, commerce and other faculties. UBC ranks in the top 10 universities in North America and number one in Canada for commercializing research, and for its patent activity in the life sciences. For more information, visit: www.ubc.ca.

About TRIUMF

TRIUMF is Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. Located on the south campus of the University of British Columbia, TRIUMF is owned and operated as a joint venture, via a contribution through National Research Council Canada and supported by the Province of British Columbia, by a consortium of the following Canadian universities: University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Carleton University, University of Manitoba, l'Universite de Montreal, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, and University of Victoria. To learn more about TRIUMF, go to http://www.triumf.ca.

About MDS Nordion

MDS Nordion, a business unit of MDS Inc., is a global leader in providing medical isotopes for molecular and diagnostic imaging, radiotherapeutics and sterilization technologies for medical products that benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 50 countries around the world. MDS Nordion products and services are used on a daily basis by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Find out more at www.mdsnordion.com

About MDS

MDS Inc. is a global life sciences company that provides market-leading products and services that our customers need for the development of drugs, and the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading global provider of pharmaceutical contract research, medical isotopes for molecular imaging, radiotherapeutics, and analytical instruments. MDS has more than 5,000 highly skilled people in 29 countries. Find out more at www.mdsinc.com or by calling 1-888-MDS-7222, 24 hours a day.

CONTACT: MEDIA: Shelley Maclean, (613) 592-3400, ext. 2414,
shelley.maclean@mdsinc.com; INVESTORS: Kim Lee, (416) 213-4721,
kim.lee@mdsinc.com; CONTACT TRIUMF: Dr. Timothy I. Meyer, (604) 222-7674,
tmeyer@triumf.ca; CONTACT UBC: Brian Lin, (604) 818-5685, brian.lin@ubc.ca


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