Injectable radiogel for high-dose interstitial radiation therapy

Award Year 

A team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed and transferred a new injectable radiogel for delivering insoluble yttrium-90 — a well-established medical radioisotope with many applications in cancer treatment—microspheres to a precise location for targeted radiation therapy. This safe, effective, low-cost brachytherapy treatment allows clinicians to deliver higher doses of radiation exactly where needed while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. Radiogels are ideal for treating solid tumors that cannot be safely (more) removed via surgical methods.PNNL developed the technology prior to the initiation of a technology transfer partnership. Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (AMIC) approached PNNL seeking novel resorbable brachytherapy technology to add to its product offerings, and this technology was identified during initial discussions as having high potential to be a fit. A strong relationship was formed as the partners conducted further analyses of the technology, with PNNL acting as technical and commercialization consultant, providing AMIC with access to Laboratory resources, capabilities, and analytical results, and negotiating access terms. AMIC became the technology licensee.The transfer effort between PNNL and AMIC began after multiple internal technology maturation funding investments had already been leveraged to hone and confirm specific technology characteristics. In September 2010, AMIC signed an exclusive license for the fast-resorbable brachytherapy seed technology. Then, in February 2011 AMIC signed a one-year option agreement for the injectable radiogel delivery mechanism, followed by proposing and being approved for a PNNL Technology Assistance Program project (provides up to one week of PNNL researcher time at no charge) to receive additional guidance on making and delivering yttrium-90 microspheres for correct tumor dosing. In March 2012, AMIC signed another exclusive license for the radiogel delivery technology.This transfer represents a significant business growth opportunity for AMIC which, upon successfully garnering FDA approval, will have a safe and effective new treatment option to offer its customers. The licensing of this technology also helped PNNL achieve its mission to deploy lab-developed technology for societal and economic benefit, and has resulted in a strong, ongoing partnership between PNNL and AMIC that could lead to additional transfers. (less)