The research of the radiopharmaceutical chemistry focuses at the development of radiopharmaceuticals from a chemistry perspective:
Basic research for radionuclide production and radiochemistry methods, methods for synthesis and purification of radiopharmaceuticals, selection of biological targets (like enzymes or receptors) and in vitro evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals acting at these targets, selection of leads and lead optimization for new radiopharmaceuticals, preclinical in vivo evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals and research towards Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant synthesis methods for radiopharmaceuticals. A large diversity of radiopharmaceuticals is required and hence a large variety of techniques and expertise is crucial for the radiopharmaceutical chemistry section.
The research is mainly embedded in the VUmc Research institutes NCA, CCA and ICAR-VU. The main collaborations within VUmc clinical departments are medical oncology, lung diseases, neurology, rheumatology, cardiology and otolaryngology, all focused on the development and application of new radiopharmaceuticals. The VU University research institutes LACDR and AIMSS provide an embedment for combined medical chemistry, bio-organic and radiopharmaceutical research projects.
Together with the BV Cyclotron VU new radionuclide production methods as well as applications of radionuclides are investigated. Moreover, the implementation of reliable and GMP compliant production methods at the BV Cyclotron VU is assisted by researchers of the radiopharmaceutical chemistry section.
GMP compliant manufacture
An important task of the group is the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant manufacture of radiopharmaceuticals to support clinical research. To this end the group has 2 clean room labs which are equipped with 6 hotcells each and dedicated quality control equipment. The groups holds a government issued GMP manufacturing license and manufactures over 50 radiopharmaceuticals within this quality management system.