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November 25, 2021

CNL launches program to accelerate the development of targeted radiopharmaceuticals in Canada

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory expands successful Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative to include health sciences stream 

Chalk River, ON – November 25, 2021 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has issued a call for proposals for a new ‘health stream’ within its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI). The new program is designed to accelerate the development of targeted radiopharmaceuticals in Canada through collaborative research projects related to health sciences, radiobiology and medical isotope development, by providing access to the world-class laboratories and research capabilities at the Chalk River Laboratories campus.

Launched in 2019, the CNRI program was originally established by CNL to advance the deployment of small modular reactor (SMRs) and advanced reactor designs. The ongoing interest in the program has led CNL to expand CNRI into health sciences, another key area of expertise, allowing participants to gain access to the company’s unique facilities and personnel in order to conduct research in partnership with CNL.

“With over one billion medical treatments conducted using isotopes produced at the Chalk River Laboratories, CNL’s work has touched the lives of people all around the world,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “Today, we continue to pursue this mission as a full-service nuclear laboratory with the capability to perform cutting-edge pharmaceutical development, along with a wide range of radiochemical analyses. Through the expanded CNRI program, we hope to better leverage our resources to help people who suffer from a wide range of medical issues, with a key focus on cancer treatment.”

For the program’s first intake, research proposals must align with topics that include targeted delivery systems, toxicology and pre-clinical evaluation. Once a technical review of each proposal is completed, CNL will work with the proponent to develop a plan to establish the scope, budget, and deliverables for the project. CNL will complete a final evaluation of the proposed project plans before making the final selection and approval of successful applicants. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2022, and projects will be selected in the spring of 2022.

As a world leader in medical isotopes and related research for more than 70 years, CNL has helped pioneer the use of Cobalt-60 radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer, and served as a major producer of the world’s supply of Molybdenum-99, which is used in diagnostic procedures. CNL now maintains diverse capabilities in areas of health and dosimetry, including pre-clinical animal studies, isotope production and processing, in vitro drug evaluation, targeted radionuclide therapies, ISO-accredited analytical chemistry services and waste management solutions.

“The CNRI program has been incredibly successful for the development of SMRs and other advanced reactor technologies, and it encouraged us to apply this collaborative model to other areas of our research,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science & Technology. “We believe there is an unmet need for organizations that are pursuing radiopharmaceutical discovery, toxicology and pre-clinical efficacy research, and this program can serve as a vehicle to advance innovative solutions in these areas.”

Outside of CNRI, CNL is working to establish itself as an international hub in the research, development and supply of next-generation medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, including Actinium-225, a rare isotope that shows great promise as the basis for new, cutting-edge cancer therapies. As part of those efforts, CNL recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE to explore the development and industrial-scale production of Actinium-225.

To learn more about CNL and its work in health sciences, please visit For more information on the CNRI Health Stream, including submission guidelines and details, please visit

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology, offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact [email protected].


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
Phone: 1-866-886-2325
Email: [email protected]

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