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NURA - CRO

Pre-clinical studies commissioned by third parties

In addition to our own studies, we also conduct research on behalf of third parties. As a Contract Research Organisation, NURA supports clinical and pharmaceutical partners in their research into and development of promising radiopharmaceuticals for therapeutic purposes. SCK CEN focuses on the phases prior to clinical research.

We distinguish 3 CRO services:

SCK CEN NURA Radiolabeling (2019)

Radiolabeling

Mapping the journey of a drug in the body is a challenging but crucial aspect of the development of new therapies. One of the most reliable and generally recognized ways to visualise the path and impact of a drug is radiolabelling. In this technique, one of the atoms of the drug is replaced by a radioisotope, i.e. the radioactive version of the atom. In fact, the atom functions as a GPS tag as it were, allowing researchers to track not only where in the body the drug is located, but also how it behaves. The technique is essential for the development and testing of new drugs, both in the discovery phase and in the clinical study phase.

SCK CEN specialises in radiolabelling and assists partners during the production of isotopes, the chemical separation or purification of isotopes, the actual labelling process and its validation.

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SCK CEN - NURA (2019)

Imaging

In the development and testing of new radiopharmaceuticals, SCK CEN helps partners to visualise the journey of isotopes in the body or organ, thereby revealing also the biological effects of radiopharmaceuticals. SCK CEN helps partner companies to perform both in vivo and in vitro imaging and makes various advanced imaging devices available to them: SPECT scanner, auto-radiographic scanner, gamma counter and fluorescence microscope.

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SCK CEN NURA Radiolabeling (2019)

Radiopharmaceutical research

Within the NURA project, radiopharmaceutical research focuses on the development of new radiopharmaceuticals for radionuclide therapy. The development of new radiopharmaceuticals can be subdivided into the following domains in which SCK CEN has developed expertise:

  • In vitro, in vivo and ex vivo toxicology: to what extent can the radiopharmaceutical cause damage to living or non-living organisms?
     
  • Pharmacokinetic research: how does the body handle a drug? We usually investigate this by measuring the concentration of the drug in the blood or in certain tissues over time. In this way, SCK CEN helps partners to identify the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of a component. This is valuable in the process of discovering new drugs or when selecting drug candidates for development programmes.
     
  • Pharmacodynamic research:  how does the drug interact with an individual? The aim of pharmacodynamic research is to develop a tailor-made drug therapy for the individual patient in which aspects such as dosage, interaction and/or side effects can be established more accurately. The research also contributes to the development of new drugs.

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The way we work

We believe that radiological research is made up of various components, as indicated in the diagram.

* Topics for which we have no expertise yet but which are on our R&D roadmap.

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