Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (“SHI”) (TOKYO:6302) (Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Shinji Shimomura) is excited to announce its investment in Alpha Fusion Inc. (“AF”) (Head Office: Kita-ku, Osaka, Chief Executive Officer: Sunao Fujioka), a developer of Astatine based radiopharmaceuticals for Targeted Alpha Therapy (“TAT”). This investment is a major milestone in SHI’s commitment to advancing the medical field and fighting cancer with innovative therapeutic treatments.
SHI is delighted to be part of a new project led by Osaka University which will focus on mass production of Astatine-211, a radioactive element with promising prospects for advanced medicine. Our expertise in particle accelerators and RI labeled compounds will be instrumental in developing the TAT pipeline for this project. This funding will help to progress the development of radiopharmaceuticals and create more demand for Astatine-211. We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this project and contributing to a new era of advanced medicine.
TAT and Astatine-211
Astatine-211 (211At, Atomic number 85, Half life time 7.2H) is an element that has recently been gaining attention in the medical field due to its use in TAT (targeted alpha therapy). This treatment method involves the injection of an alpha-emitting RI labeled candidate that selectively targets cancer cells and destroys them. Astatine-211 has several advantages compared to other approved RIs (177Lu, 223Ra, or 131I), such as a stable production using naturally abundant bismuth (209Bi) with a relatively low-energy particle accelerator (cyclotron), a short half-life of 7.2 hours, and a direct chemical formation with the basic structure of the candidate that conjugates with the disease target site. Clinical studies have already been conducted in the US and Sweden, showing the potential of this element in the treatment of cancer.
In Japan, two important clinical trials have been initiated with the aim of advancing the treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer and pheochromocytoma paraganglioma. Osaka University is leading the investigation into differentiated thyroid cancer, while Fukushima Medical University is studying pheochromocytoma paraganglioma. There is much anticipation for the progress of these trials, which have been assigned the respective codes jRCT2051210144 and jRCT2021220012.
Alpha Fusion Inc.
AF, a startup company, is revolutionizing the field of targeted alpha therapy (TAT), an area of cancer treatment rapidly gaining worldwide attention. With funding from JST’s Program on Open Innovation Platform with Enterprises, Research Institute and Achademia (OPERA), AF is leveraging Osaka University’s drug discovery research to develop Astatine-211 based social implementation. The company seeks to use its unique approach from Japan to bring the Astatine drug to the forefront of cancer treatment. To achieve this, AF is working to create a pipeline of research and development to bring a world-class business model for the practical application of new cancer treatments.