Radboud Translational Medicine and Quirem Medical have started a collaboration for the production of QuiremSpheres®. RTM will perform the final steps in the production process: from dispensing of the product vials to Quality Control of the final product. QuiremSpheres® are tiny radioactive spheres based on the radioactive isotope holmium-166. They are indicated for the treatment of advanced unresectable liver tumors by means of radioembolization.
QuiremSpheres® consists of biocompatible poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) microspheres containing holmium-166, which is a high-energy beta-emitting isotope with gamma emission. The microspheres have a mean diameter of 30 micrometer (97% between of 15 to 60 micrometer). Due to the average diameter of 30 micrometer, the microspheres lodge preferentially in the microvasculature surrounding the tumor, maximising tumourcidal effects and minimising the effects on healthy liver parenchyma. The half-life of QuiremSpheres® is 26.8 hours, which means that more than 90% of the radiation is delivered within the first 4 days following the implantation procedure.
Once the microspheres have reached the tumor they will emit their beta radiation and destroy tumor cells, while the low energy gamma radiation passes through and out of the body and can be imaged by gamma-cameras. This unique property makes it possible to determine the distribution of QuiremSpheres® inside the patient with high resolution. In addition, the metal holmium can be visualized with MR imaging.
QuiremSpheres® microspheres have the same mode of action as existing Yttrium-90 based radioembolization products: the microspheres emit beta radiation that kills tumor cells from close range. In addition, QuiremSpheres® can be visualized with SPECT and MR imaging, even in low concentrations. This is unique and cannot be done with currently available Yttrium-90 based microspheres.