For 75 years, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has been at the forefront of innovation in nuclear medicine, radiopharmaceuticals, and low dose radiation research. In the 1950’s we launched the medical isotope industry that revolutionized the way we treat modern diseases. We lead the world in the production of Cobalt-60 and Molydenum-99 — both crucial radiopharmaceuticals in our collective effort to save lives, fight disease and beat cancer.
Together, we’ve changed the lives of millions of people around the world.
And now, we are about to do it again.
This work includes production of a promising new weapon in the fight against cancer – Actinium-225 – a radioisotope so rare that the annual global production amounts to less than a single grain of sand. In targeted alpha therapies, the Actinium 225 isotope is attached to an antibody, which then locks on to the antigen on the cancer cell. When the isotope decays, it emits high-energy alpha particles that kill the cancer cell by shattering its DNA. The healthy cells nearby are unharmed by this process.
Our work in this area enables CNL and others around to world to carry out the critical trials and research needed to make this promising new medicine into a real possibility.
Our work at CNL with actinium-225 is two-fold: we’ve launched a production program to produce larger quantities of this isotope enabling further research and testing, but we’re also conducting foundational research to help accelerate the development of medical applications that can truly unlock its potential.
CNL maintains diverse capabilities in areas of Health and dosimetry, including Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) animal studies, isotope production and processing, targeted radionuclide therapies, ISO-accredited Analytical Chemistry services and waste management solutions. CNL is committed to improving the health of the world’s population through its work in the Health sector.
CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) is a leader in the industry; a full service nuclear laboratory with the capability to perform cutting-edge pharmaceutical development, along with a wide range of radiochemical analyses. CNL’s health sciences facilities are staffed by an expert multi-discipline team of researchers and technologists.
To learn more about CNL’s capabilities and facilities, please select one of the below areas:
Canada has a long history of leadership in nuclear medicine. As a world leader in the production of medical isotopes, CNL is experienced in producing medical radioisotopes at a commercial scale, manufacturing and irradiating targets, separating isotopes, and managing waste. In parallel, CNL has unique capabilities in conducting pre-clinical studies and understanding the effects of radiation and radionuclides on living things.
CNL aims to become a strong player in the international R&D efforts around, and a key supplier of, alpha-emitting isotopes. Research activities have been underway for decades, though an international scarcity of key nuclides for this research severely restricts clinical trials, which delays the deployment of effective treatments.
CNL has the necessary expertise in isotope separation, experience in scale-up of processing and handling radionuclides, as well as specialized facilities capable of safely processing alpha-emitting isotopes.