Nuclear medicine encompasses the use of radioactive particles placed in direct contact with patients for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Radioisotopes are usually bound with vectors and then injected into the patient’s bloodstream to specifically target cancerous cells.
While diagnostic radio imagery applications are already relatively well-established, therapeutic uses are still in their infancy. Only a few systemic therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals are on the market, with most targeting rare cancers or being used in palliative care.
However, recent developments confirm that there is an acceleration of interest in this promising technological platform. A number of recent trends offer signs that radiological pharmaceuticals are on their way to being a firmly established part of the therapeutic arsenal against cancer, these include:
A diverse mix of companies is placing bets along the value chain, with companies in the following sectors showing special interest in the field:
The development of therapeutic nuclear medicine is heavily dependent on the results of ongoing clinical trials. In addition, a variety of barriers must be overcome for this technology to reach its full potential, specifically:
If clinical results from the first wave of radiopharmaceuticals for high-incidence cancers are positive, interest in the sector is likely to accelerate, with large pharmaceutical companies leading the charge to increase investment and the pace of M&A in the field.