Science Technology Platforms


Radiopharmaceutical chemistry

Radiopharmaceutical chemistry is an essential component of nuclear medicine, helping to tackle major health challenges through novel imaging solutions. Professor Erik Årstad from the UCL Centre for Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry (CRC) tells us more about radiopharmaceutical chemistry facilities at UCL.

Custom-designed radiotracers for seamless imaging

CRC researcher in lab

The UCL CRC is a multidisciplinary research centre for the development and clinical translation of novel biomedical imaging agents.

The CRC specialises in the manufacture of radiotracers and bespoke diagnostic agents for use in cutting-edge imaging techniques such as hyperpolarised Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The CRC also produces Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracers for use in experimental medicine.

The CRC hosts the following facilities:

Radiochemistry Research Lab

The Radiochemistry Research Lab is a state-of-the-art facility designed to allow radiochemistry method development, automated radiotracer production for preclinical studies, translational nuclear imaging in human specimens.

UCL Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Facility

The UCL GMP Facility specialises on the manufacturing of short-lived radiotracers as well as tracers for cutting-edge imaging techniques such as hyperpolarised MRI.

Current research

Researchers at the CRC have developed a novel PET tracer - [18F]AldoView - for the imaging of aldosterone synthase, an enzyme found in adrenal glands that plays an important role in regulating blood pressure.

The CRC is also planning first-in-human studies to evaluate the use of tracers to guide surgery in patients with primary hyperaldosteronism, a type of hypertension driven by excessive aldosterone production.

Who can access this facility?

The Radiochemistry Research Lab undertakes radiochemistry research and can also be used for tissue imaging. The GMP facility is relevant to Medicine, Chemistry, and Pharmacology researchers.

How do I use this service?

Medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies can access CRC services by requesting PET tracers for observational clinical studies and clinical trials. The CRC can also establish GMP production of new PET tracers upon request. Please note that there is no direct access to the CRC's facilities.

To request a CRC service, please contact Professor Erik Årstad (e.arstad@ucl.ac.uk).

Services and rates

Listed below are some of the bespoke tracers manufactured by the CRC:

Tracer nameDescription
[18F]DPA-714TSPO neuroinflammation tracer
[18F]MK6240Tau tracer for Alzheimer’s disease
[18F]NAV4694Amyloid tracer for Alzheimer’s disease
[13C]PyruvateMRI hyperpolarisation tracer
[18F]FPIACancer imaging agent

A full list of products and services can be found on the CRC website.

Further information

Find out more about these facilities and available services on the CRC website.