"Eczacıbaşı Monrol introduced conventional radiopharmaceuticals to the Turkish market. Nuclear medicine has always been recognised as a diagnostic field, and now it is proving its value in the therapeutic field too. We expect the growth of nuclear medicines to be boosted by the trend towards diagnostic agents paired with therapeutic agents."
Could you give our readers a brief introduction of Eczacıbaşı Monrol Nuclear Products?
Eczacıbaşı Monrol specializes in producing agents for PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) scans, which are critical for detecting cancer, cardiological diseases and brain disorders, among other serious diseases. Being the major player in the conventional PET& SPECT business, Eczacıbaşı Monrol is also successfully positioning itself as a key market player in "Theranostics", which is a combination of “diagnostics” and “therapy”.
Eczacıbaşı Monrol has started local production of the therapeutic agent called lutetium chloride, a radio-pharmaceutical precursor.
Eczacıbaşı Monrol is a pioneer of nuclear medicine in Turkey, having introduced many radiopharmaceuticals to the market. Could you tell us about the advances made in this new field?
Eczacıbaşı Monrol introduced conventional radiopharmaceuticals to the Turkish market. Nuclear medicine has always been recognised as a diagnostic field, and now it is proving its value in the therapeutic field too. We expect the growth of nuclear medicines to be boosted by the trend towards diagnostic agents paired with therapeutic agents.
Being the major player in the conventional PET& SPECT business, Eczacıbaşı Monrol is also successfully positioning itself as a key market player in this new area, called "Theranostics", which is a combination of 'diagnostics' and 'therapy'.
This is a growing concept where the diagnosis and the relevant therapy are used in parallel in targeting diseases such as prostate cancer and neuro-endocrine tumours.
Eczacıbaşı Monrol has started local production of the therapeutic agent lutetium chloride, a radio-pharmaceutical precursor. We are very proud to be the first in Turkey and one of the pioneer companies worldwide to produce this agent.
The "Theranostics" concept requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving nuclear medicine specialists as well as uro-oncologists, urologists, endocrinologists and medical oncologists in the decision of the best therapy for the patient. We are currently working to create awareness of this emerging approach across the related fields of medicine.
What are some of the challenges faced by Eczacıbaşı Monrol in the production of radio-pharmaceuticals?
Radio-pharmaceuticals are both similar to and different from conventional pharmaceuticals. One major difference is dealing very short half lived radioactive materials which can’t be maintained with an inventory stock. Related safety regulations are also challenging, such as regulations on safe handling conditions and the need for operational excellence due to the very short life of products. These factors require stringent adherence to a multitude of safety and health guidelines. The volatility of radioactive materials also creates production challenges; some products need to be finalised on-site, at the hospital, which requires special technical expertise.
What is Eczacıbaşı’s vision in terms of international growth?
Eczacıbaşı Monrol is already selling its products in the EU, MENA and Far East countries and has EU GMP certification. In addition to exports, Eczacıbaşı Monrol owns production facilities in Bulgaria, Romania, and Egypt and operates facilities in Iraq, UAE, Pakistan and Kuwait. With the expertise it has gained from operating numerous facilities in a variety of countries, Eczacıbaşı Monrol also provides services to customers around the world on constructing plants, installing equipment, setting up quality systems and operating production facilities.
What is your final message?
Eczacıbaşı Monrol believes that the market for nuclear medicine is one of abundant opportunity and will soon be recognized as a “speciality” as more therapeutic solutions are discovered. Nuclear medicine will become a key component of targeted therapy, which is intrinsically dependent on targeted diagnosis.
Eczacıbaşı Monrol is committed to providing the most reliable delivery of the best quality and most innovative products, not just within Turkey, but to many parts of the world. Our highly qualified team is completely dedicated to achieving our commitments and our success is driven by the team. Sustainability and innovation are two of our core values, and we strive for continuous improvement in our operations and products while trying to serve patients all around the world.