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PMB and CEA Announce the Commissioning of iMiGiNE at Frederic Joliot Hospital (Orsay), Paving the Way for Next Generation Molecular Imaging Diagnostics

12 may 2021
imigine radiochemistry cyclotron cea shfj research radiopharmaceuticals

An automated radiopharmaceutical production system iMiGiNE has been installed in Frederic Joliot Hospital (CEA) in Orsay, France and commissioned in December 2020. This disruptive system will revolutionize the radiopharmaceutical production, access and distribution. iMiGiNE will allow clinical centers to directly access disease-specific radiopharmaceuticals, otherwise rarely available, and take a first step towards personalized molecular imaging.

A shift in paradigm: microfluidic syntheses

iMiGiNE uses groundbreaking technology to produce radiopharmaceuticals: a single-use lab-on-a-chip device, with onboard precursors and solvents. Offering lower volumes and higher yields, this versatile microfluidic cassette can be used for process or tracer development as well as the production of single doses or small batches. It is integrated in a radiosynthesis box, a closed system to prevent cross contamination, operated by a robotized arm, and controlled through a supervision software. 

An automated manufacturing process, from radiopharmaceutical selection to a filled syringe

iMiGiNE combines a cyclotron equipped with a superconducting magnet, making it more stable and compact, and a robotized radiochemistry to produce the selected radiopharmaceutical. Operated through a user-friendly supervision software, the cyclotron produces the selected radioisotope, which is then transferred to the radiochemistry for radiolabeling. 

Unlocking the full potential of precision medicine

Only a few of more than a hundred molecules of clinical interest are used today in routine PET imaging. Why? Cumbersome processes and infrastructures, and costly manufacturing operations. Additionally, the use of some radioisotopes with a short half-life is challenging for smaller centers (110 min for 18F and only 20 min for 11C). iMiGiNE can break those barriers by relocating the production of radiopharmaceuticals close to the patient, and ultimately improving patient care.  

About PMB

PMB is a human-sized company located near Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France, specialized in the design and manufacture of complex particle accelerators systems for Medical, Research, Nuclear, Defense and Industry applications. 

Historically, PMB started with the specialty of assembling dissimilar materials such as metals and ceramics. Since 2010, we have developed complex systems integrating particle accelerators. Among others, an automated system that produces in-house PET radiopharmaceuticals and linear accelerators for non-destructive testing (high-energy radiography), and radiotherapy. PMB is part of the French industrial group ALCEN. 

About CEA

The CEA is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas: energy transition, digital transition, technology for the medicine of the future and defense and security. The CEA carries out fundamental research in the fields of Biotechnology and Health, the Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences and Astronomy, Physics and Nanoscience. Its core objectives are the production and publication of knowledge and expertise at the highest international level. In 2019, nearly 3,800 scientific papers were published by CEA researchers, three-quarters of which were the result of international collaboration. The CEA draws on all this knowledge to carry out its other activities. 

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