LabCom - V2 - Laboratoires communs organismes de recherche publics – PME/ETI - Vague 2

Toulouse innovating centre in Molecular Imaging – IMOToul

Submission summary

Faced with an ageing population and the multiplication of targeted therapies, precision medicine requires increasingly sophisticated diagnostic and patient management tools. Due to its ability to characterize physiopathological mechanisms, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging represents an obvious tool for the future in order to move towards this personalized medicine for patients suffering from neurological diseases and cancers. In this context, ToNIC and the company Zionexa propose to develop innovative PET imaging radiotracers, drawing on their expertise in radiochemistry and radiopharmacy. On the strength of the past collaborations of these two partners, the IMoToul project will benefit from an essential asset for the successful completion of its projects through two strands of development of radiopharmaceutical drugs (MRP), in neurology and oncology.
The IMoToul project will cover two key elements of cerebral physiopathology: 1) the key role of glutamate receptors (e.g. in Alzheimer's disease, Tourette's syndrome) and 2) the neuroinflammation mechanisms that accompany many neuropathological processes and which also occur in cancer patients. Moreover, today Fluor 18 (F18) remains the radioelement of choice for the development of MRP, however the advent of the development of small molecules (peptides, nanobodies) and antibodies makes F18 labelling complicated (indirect labelling, modification of the pharmacological properties of the labelled molecule, etc.). The IMoToul project aims to set up innovative radiolabelling techniques adapted to these molecules, based on other radioelements that can be used in PET imaging for cancers and/or neurology, such as Copper Cu64 or Zirconium Zr89.
IMoToul will therefore make it possible to develop innovative MRP in neurology and oncology, from radiochemistry to the first human injection, and then to validate them in clinical research and promote them to drug manufacturers. To this end, it is a continuation of the work that led to the structural, functional and scientific developments that today provide ToNIC with the resources and skills in molecular imaging to join forces with Zionexa, a French company dedicated to innovation and industrial development in this field, within the framework of a joint laboratory. This partnership, with strong added value both in terms of scientific (scientific publications, attractiveness) and industrial (patents, licenses, access to market) value, represents a major opportunity for the development of ToNIC's innovation process and a major lever and asset for the development of Zionexa's R&D activities in Toulouse, from radiochemistry to the clinic on a single site.

Project coordination

Pierre Payoux (Inserm Occitanie Pyrénées)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Inserm - TONIC Inserm Occitanie Pyrénées

Help of the ANR 362,962 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: June 2021 - 54 Months

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