Combination of Radiopharmaceuticals and AI Has Become a Clear Trend
DATE:  Jun 15 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Combination of Radiopharmaceuticals and AI Has Become a Clear Trend Combination of Radiopharmaceuticals and AI Has Become a Clear Trend

(Yicai Global) June 15 -- China Insights Consultancy, a top international consultancy, and The Yuan global artificial intelligence community have jointly issued their Report on the Development Trend of Integrated Nuclear Medicine Diagnosis and Treatment, thereby garnering great attention to the fields of nuclear medicine and precision medicine driven by AI.

In a global first, the report interprets the process of development of integrated nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment from three perspectives - the nuclear medicine industry, the state of development of radionuclide drug conjugates (RDC), and how AI intervenes and analyzes the development process of nuclear medicine transformation.

Their study identifies key variables and recites the methodology of how AI brings its value into play. It further recognizes that the combination of radiopharmaceuticals and AI is a clear trend and decodes the future of integrated nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment.

"See it, Treat it! Nuclear medicine will become the cornerstone of the era of precision medicine," said Zhou Jian, chief analyst of The Yuan global AI community, who is one of the main authors of this report. Based on long-term follow-up research, the integration of nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment is one rapid development direction in the field of tumor diagnosis and treatment, Zhou further noted. By substituting radioactive isotopes, the same conjugated drugs can be used for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic purposes - known as radioligand imaging and radioligand therapy, respectively, he added.

Radioligand imaging mainly relies on such technologies as positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computerized tomography to reflect the physiological, pathological, biochemical, and metabolic changes of human tissues at the molecular level. Radioligand therapy uses a therapeutic drug that combines a ligand with a targeting effect with a radionuclide-containing moiety, such as a nuclide-conjugated drug RDC. Findings show that nuclear medicine provides key information and targeted diagnosis and treatment plans at every step of clinical diagnosis and treatment and creates greater value by empowering other modal drugs

Nuclear medicine is thus becoming an orderly clinical operation and development in the era of precision medicine - a cornerstone indeed.

Explosive growth

The report also highlights the swift growth of the global nuclear drug market. Since 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved nine RDC drugs, and nearly 50 nuclear drugs worldwide are in clinical trials. Chinese regulators have issued their Medical Isotope Medium and Long-Term Development Plan (2021-2035) in a bid to hasten the construction of nuclear medicine and achieve its full coverage in tertiary general hospitals by 2025. The market feedback on the global nuclear drug products on the market is likewise extremely encouraging. Sales revenue of Lutathera are projected at nearly USD500 million in 2022, while that of Pluvicto will approach USD300 million.

Sophia Wang, a partner at CIC, stated that the nuclear drug RDC track is in the early stage of rapid growth of the industry. She listed the three major factors that will become the key to enterprise competition: the ability to match high-quality clinical resources, the speed of clinical transformation, and the scalability of a platform.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, and BMS are now actively developing and deploying nuclear drug products.

The joint report is also innovative in indicating that a massive volume of image data will be generated in the process of nuclear drug development and transformation. Nuclear medicine can provide human effectiveness/safety research, and drug molecular clinical transformation possibility analysis/dose research in the early stage of research and development, and can cluster patients, formulate entry and exclusion criteria during clinical trials, and conduct consistency and evaluation of test results to yield standardized analyses.

After sifting through the global development pattern, Zhou Jian found Europe to be the global nuclear medicine development center. Its advantages are reflected in three factors: (1) Regulatory edges - nuclear drugs in Europe can enter Phase 0 clinical trials at the early stages of research; (2) Raw material supply advantages - Europe has the world's top nuclide companies, among which Belgium-based IBA RadioPharma Solutions has the world's first compact cyclotron for industrial production of radionuclides, and Germany's ITM Radiopharma is one of the globe's largest makers of medical radioisotopes; (3) Infrastructure advantages - Europe has many top hospitals, including Vienna General Hospital, and Marburg University Hospital. Most nuclear medicines currently on the market come from European nuclear medicine.

Go-to setup

Another of the report’s key achievements is that it explores the methodology of leveraging the value of AI per the trend of integrated nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment. An analysis of the cases of the three most representative companies in the nuclear medicine industry - Lantheus, Telix, and Evomics Medical - shows multi-pipeline nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment drugs+AI software has become the standard configuration of leading companies, and nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment are now well integrated, Zhou said. This is bound to usher in rapid development under the double drivers of nuclear medicine and AI.

Dr Wang Shiwei, founder and chief executive of Evomics Medical, stated that the clinical application of nuclear medicine will generate large-scale nuclear medicine images, and that AI-driven nuclear medicine image analysis or clinical decision support systems significantly improves the accuracy and clinical potential of nuclear medicine images. At the same time, AI molecular design/virtual screening+small animal dosimetry/biological distribution research will become an important model for nuclear medicine to quickly obtain patient-centered care of preclinical candidate drugs.

The report concludes that the successive approvals of blockbuster nuclear medicine products can be deemed the first growth driver of nuclear medicine in the near future, and AI products that provide accurate, fast, and consistent analyses will become the second driver of nuclear medicine’s growth. The combination of AI and the research and development of physical products (drug molecules or devices) can thus be regarded as highly important, and the combination with physical products can maximize the value of AI and achieve the rapid promotion and application of AI products in clinical practice.

Follow Yicai Global on
Keywords:   Radiopharmaceuticals,AI