Focus on R&D for radiopharmaceuticals

Radiopharmaceuticals use radionuclides for noninvasive molecular imaging or to deliver a therapeutic dose of ionizing radiation to tissue. Radiopharmaceuticals are an important part of nuclear medicine, and they are widely used in myocardial imaging and cardiovascular diseases diagnosis, treatment of cancers, monitoring and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. Sinotau’s R&D team is developing innovative radiopharmaceuticals with special focus in these areas.



Myocardial perfusion imaging is the most reliable non-invasive diagnosis method for coronary heart diseases. It can determine the location, and extent of myocardial ischemia, and is the most widely used diagnosis agent for coronary heart diseases.

In the diagnosis and treatment of patients with coronary heart disease, the value of imaging technology is to provide information about myocardial perfusion, ventricular function, myocardial vigor, etc., to guide the development of the posterior treatment. It is also a reliable tool to verify the efficacy of vascular reconstruction therapy after the treatment is finalized.

US ACC/AHA guidelines recommend: that first choice for diagnosis for patients with suspected coronary heart disease should be myocardial perfusion imaging (a nuclear medicine scan). In this procedure, before the actual scan the patients first perform an exercise test, and those patients who cannot exercise well, will get a medicine (usually adenosine or dipyridamole) to increase the blood flow of the heart muscle as if they were exercising.

Sinotau has built a comprehensive radiopharmaceutical pipeline in cardio. The myocardial perfusion SPECT imaging agent for coronary heart disease diagnosis has been launched. Absolute quantitative myocardial perfusion PET imaging agent and myocardial viability detection imaging agent are in pre-clinical development.


Neurodegenerative diseases - Alzheimer's disease

There are two main hypotheses for the causes of Alzheimer's disease:

1. Abnormal accumulation of aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) protein in the brain forming plaques that collect between neurons and disrupt cell function.

2. Abnormal accumulations of Tau protein forming neurofibrillary tangles that block the neuron’s transport system, which harms the synaptic communication between neurons.

In the past, the only method to detect protein plaques and tangles was through careful examination of the brain after death in AD patients. While other conventional diagnostic methods have defects in accuracy, amyloid and tau tracers are a new type of procedure with higher precision.

The significance of these tracers is that they can detect AD in living patients. PET-CT scans can accurately identify early AD patients with no clinical symptoms, and the diagnostic accuracy is over 95%.

In the United States, Europe and Japan, among other countries, several companies have already approved amyloid-β tracers. However, none of these tracers have been approved for the Chinese market.

Sinotau has licensed several protein tracers for AD from Western countries such as U.S.A. and Germany and we are rapidly promoting the launch of such products in China, in order to benefit AD patients in China making a meaningful contribution to the Chinese society.



Tumor tissue is more metabolically active than normal tissue, and glycolysis metabolism is significantly increased, while morphological changes in disease are generally later than changes in genes, molecules, metabolism, and function. 

Traditional imaging methods predominantly offer anatomical pictures and therefore have limitations in the early detection and diagnosis of tumors. Molecular imaging provides detailed pictures of what is happening inside the body at the molecular and cellular level, and it has become one of the most effective imaging tools for early diagnosis of cancer. The development of the nuclear medicine industry and the more extensive use of these imaging agents, has shown its unique advantages in the early diagnosis of different types of tumors, proving a better differentiation of tumors, staging, grading and prediction of therapeutic effects.

Targeted radionuclide therapy can be compared with a high-precision missile system because it can treat with accuracy cancer that has metastasized, especially bone metastases. Normal cells and cancer cells show different susceptibility to radionuclide radiation. Generally, the greater the cell division activity, the more sensitive to radiation is, and the stronger the ability to concentrate the effect of the radionuclides, hence, the radiation destroys or inhibits the cancer tissue while normal tissue suffers only minor damage. Molecular imaging procedures are noninvasive, safe and painless with fewer and smaller side effects.

Sinotau has obtained global rights for the development and commercialization of the exclusive license of radionuclide therapy for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Sinotau looks ahead combining biological antibodies + therapeutic radionuclides to develop a new class of product.