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IRE

Radiochemical Products 

As an internationally recognised producer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients used for diagnosis and therapy in nuclear medicine, we help to save millions of lives every year.

Our strenghts

Our industry-leading performance in terms of quality, reliability and safety makes us the most reliable source of high-quality radioisotopes for medical use.

The unique diversity of our supply chain and the exceptional commitment and skill level of our employees have proven many times to be key components of our performance.

For several consecutive years, we have been running our production successfully and continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to guarantee your supply for the benefit of the patient's health. We are pleased to offer you the benefit of our expertise for the success of your business.

Our assets to serve your success

  • Multiple sources
    of irradiation

  • Wide communication network
    to international airports

  • Transport company
    on our site

  • Involved
    employees

Our products

One of the most important radioisotopes produced at our site is Molybdenum-99, the "parent" isotope of metastable Technetium-99. In combination with a specific molecule, this isotope can reach a target organ, which can then be visualised by a detection system enabling reliable diagnosis by specialised doctors.

Metastable Technetium-99

Nearly 80% of nuclear medicine diagnostics use metastable Technetium-99. Metastable Technetium-99 is used in many tests (also called "scans") to visualize the metabolism of different organs such as the heart, bones, lungs, thyroid, brain, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, etc.

This enables specialised doctors to make an adequate diagnosis in many pathologies such as cancer, heart attacks, infections and inflammations, respiratory disorders, degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, and endocrine gland dysfunctions. In the case of cancer, the purpose of this picture of metabolic activity is essentially to determine the extent of the disease.

The radioisotopes we produce are also used for therapeutic purposes. Radiotherapy involves the selective irradiation of tumours (such as bones, certain organs, certain cells...) in order to significantly improve the symptoms of the disease being treated or even to improve the survival rate of patients.

Iodine-131

The properties of Iodine-131 make it more suitable for therapy than diagnosis. It is mainly used for the treatment of thyroid cancer and certain forms of hyperthyroidism.
Associated with specific molecules, it is also used in therapy for the treatment of other cancers.

Our Projects

IRE innovates continuously for the development of cutting-edge technologies in the field of nuclear medicine thanks to unique partnerships with players with complementary expertise.

Cyclotron 30 MeV

The Institute of Radioelements (IRE) has commissioned the Louvain-la-Neuve-based company IBA to install a cyclotron with an energy of 30 MeV (mega electron volt) on an IRE site. Commissioning is scheduled for 2023. This new cyclotron, the Cyclone® IKON, that will enable IRE to produce Germanium-68 (Ge-68), the raw material for the Germanium-68/ Gallium-68 (Galli Ad® and Galli Eo®) generators, for which demand is growing rapidly. These generators are manufactured on the Fleurus site by its pharmaceutical subsidiary IRE ELiT to serve hospitals around the world. Gallium-68 (Ga-68), the end product extracted from these generators, can provide an accurate and earlier diagnosis of many cancers through the use of PET (positron emission tomography) camera technology. Today Gallium-68 is becoming essential for a personalized approach for the patient via nuclear medicine. The theranostic approach (therapeutic and diagnostic) involves the same molecule being combined with Ga-68 to see, through imaging, the tumors that need to be treated. This is coupled with a "therapeutic companion", Lutetium-177 (Lu-177) which, once injected into the patient, will specifically bind to the cancerous cells to destroy them while preserving healthy tissues. This investment will give to IRE the opportunity to control the complete production chain of Ga-68 radiopharmaceutical generators to better supply its customers, but also to diversify its research activities with the possibility in the future of producing other radioisotopes for innovative applications in nuclear medicine via this cyclotron. This project is in line with the Institute's innovation and diversification strategy.