JANESVILLE, Wis., Oct. 11, 2019 – SHINE Medical Technologies, LLC today announced the creation of a new division of the company — SHINE Therapeutics. The establishment of the division enhances the company's ability to focus on filling critical future needs in the rapidly growing therapeutic isotope market, while continuing to leverage its radioisotope production expertise.
The company's Therapeutics division will initially focus on the development and commercialization of lutetium‑177, or Lu‑177, a therapeutic isotope that is combined with a disease-specific targeting molecule to treat cancer. Targeting molecules deliver Lu‑177 atoms to cancer sites throughout the body, where they directly irradiate cancer cells.
The first Lu‑177-based targeted radiotherapy (for neuroendocrine tumors) reached the market in 2018. Many high-potential targeted molecules for the treatment of a range of other cancers with Lu-177 are currently under investigation. SHINE is also evaluating additional medical isotopes with therapeutic properties for future development.
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Katrina Pitas, a 10-year veteran of SHINE who served most recently as the company's vice president of business development, has been appointed vice president and general manager of SHINE Therapeutics.
"Targeted radiotherapy has the potential to fundamentally change the way cancer patients are treated," Ms. Pitas said. "But a robust, reliable supply of therapeutic isotopes will be crucial as both the discipline and associated market continue to grow. Our Lu‑177 development program is well underway, and we look forward to bringing high-purity Lu‑177 to market."
In May, the company entered an agreement with the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague) that provides SHINE with a global, exclusive license to a novel separation technology that it will use to separate lutetium from enriched ytterbium targets. The technology will enable SHINE to produce non-carrier-added, high-specific-activity Lu‑177.
"We are excited to bring our core competencies and technology to serve the rapidly emerging therapeutic market," said Greg Piefer, SHINE's founder and CEO. "This market is particularly exciting, as it offers very promising therapies for patients who before now had difficult or impossible to treat late stage cancers. The focus of our new division is to ensure cancer patients have a reliable supply chain of isotopes as new drugs are approved."