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Pharmimage adds members and plans extensions to research platform including cyclotron

The additions to the research platform, including a radiolabeling unit, strengthen Pharmimage’s position as the only dedicated pharmaco-imaging cluster in France

Dijon, France, June 1, 2010 – Pharmimage(R), a group specialized in the use of imaging to measure the efficacy of new therapies for the pharmaceutical industry (pharmaco-imaging) has acquired four new members and plans two major additions to its research resources. The announcement was made today by Oncodesign, the leader of the Pharmimage GIE (economic interest group). Oncodesign also said that one of the new members, Cyclopharma, will make an important contribution to the group’s research facilities by building a cyclotron and radiolabeling unit starting in June 2010.

Oncodesign, a specialist in the identification of novel cancer therapies and an active member of Pharmimage, says that the public/private partnership pharmaco-imaging research center will bring together in less than one square kilometer all the skills, equipment and pre-clinical and clinical imaging technologies needed for measuring the efficacy of future therapies. The research platform represents an investment of EUR 5 million and will be financed by local public entities (the Regional Council of Burgundy, the General Council of Côte d’Or and Greater Dijon) and the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). It is expected to go live by 2011 and provide five to ten jobs.

Cyclopharma will build and operate the platform for early stage research. It will add a cyclotron for scientific and medical use and a radiochemistry unit to Pharmimage’s existing research facilities. Access to these two units will enable the radiolabeling of molecules and the availability of the most important short life isotopes needed for imaging technologies used in pharmacology. This equipment will feed two nuclear medicine imaging platforms, one at Oncodesign, which will be equipped in 2011 with a microcamera for use with small animals and one at the Georges Leclerc Center for the Fight against Cancer for clinical research. The new research center will also offer services to the pharmaceutical industry, mainly in oncology and cardiology.

Four new members have joined Pharmimage since the beginning of the year. They are NVH Medicinal, a biotechnology company, ICTA a clinical contract research organization, and the Nevers Hospital Center as well as Cyclopharma. Cyclopharma will bring its capabilities in radiochemistry to the group, skills that are essential for the development of radiolabels. With these new members, Pharmimage now has a complete set of skills to validate new molecules.

“We are delighted to see the plans for this research platform become reality,” said Philippe Genne, CEO of Oncodesign and administrator of Pharmimage(R). “This confirms Pharmimage’s unique position as the most important pharmaco-imaging cluster in France.”

“What particularly attracted Cyclopharma to Pharmimage(R) was the research it is carrying out into pharmaco-imaging, especially in biomarkers to measure the efficacy of treatments and diagnostics using positron emission tomography in oncology,” said Dr Bernard C Salin CEO and founder of Cyclopharma.

A cyclotron is a particle accelerator that produces radioactive isotopes. Coupled with molecules of interest, these isotopes make up labels allowing observations by means of a dedicated camera using imaging techniques. In 2007, there were 156 cyclotrons being used partly or wholly for medical purposes in Europe. The great majority have an energy and intensity that restricts them to the production of fluorine-18. In January 2007, France had 27 cyclotrons. The radiolabeling unit enables the labeling of molecules with radioactive isotopes produced by the cyclotron. It requires a high level of competence in radiochemistry. The Dijon cyclotron will initially be able to label with Fluorine 18, Copper 64 and Carbon 11.

About Oncodesign Biotechnology SA
Oncodesign Biotechnology's prime goal since its conception has been the identification of novel anticancer therapies. The company has developed an innovative preclinical research platform dedicated to establishing the in vitro and in vivo proof of concept of potential therapeutic agents. Its pharmacology based “Qualifying Approach”, aimed at the rapid evaluation of the therapeutic potential of novel molecules, and the translational perspective of Oncodesign create a continuum from drug target to patient.

In addition to its service offering, Oncodesign has significantly invested in its own technological R&D programs to increase its innovation base. Currently, Oncodesign has taken the lead in two important national initiatives, CReMEC (Medicen, Paris), which aims at the creation of a French resource centre for experimental oncology models based on primary tumor material, and Pharmimage, a centre of excellence in pharmaco-imaging (Dijon, France). Starting from these research platforms, Oncodesign has continued to develop its business scope over the past year and is now offering capabilities and experience for the discovery of novel therapeutic and diagnostic agents through an integrated stand-alone approach.
Founded in 1995, by Dr Philippe Genne, Oncodesign Biotechnology is based in Dijon, France. It employs 60 people including 12 PhDs and has a worldwide client-base of over 400 large and small companies.

For more information on Oncodesign Biotechnology's R&D platform and its services:

About Laboratoires Cyclopharma
Laboratoires Cyclopharma, a company specialized in radiopharmacy, was created in August 2000. Cyclopharma is a Public Health stakeholder, an economic growth engine, a partner for French academic and private sector researchers and the creator of new scientific and industrial processes.

About Pharmimage(R)
The Economic Interest Group (GIE) Pharmimage(R) was created in March 2008 on a public-private basis with a view to significantly advance translational research through their expertise in pharmaco-imaging. Research organizations, hospitals, laboratories and small to medium companies have rallied around a single goal: to foster the straightforward, early and dependable evaluation of new molecules and to encourage the emergence of future treatments.

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Lloyd & Associates
Andrew Lloyd / Neil Hunter
Tel: +44 1273 675100 /

Publisher Contact Information:

Andrew Lloyd & Associates
+44 1273 675100

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