ICPO Foundation partners with Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI) to establish an ICPO Collaborating Center

2024-07-10
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This collaboration enhances global educational benchmarks in radiotheranostics and aims to expand patient access to a new era of effective cancer therapeutics in South Africa.
July 4, 2024 – Wiesbaden, Germany, and Pretoria Central, South Africa. Today, the International Centers for Precision Oncology (ICPO) Foundation and Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI) in Pretoria, South Africa announced their cooperation in establishing the theranostics center as one of the global ICPO Collaborating Centers. The parties intend to enable a growing number of patients worldwide access to Radiomolecular Precision Oncology (RPO) and further promote research and development in the fields of RPO. Moreover, the NuMeRI will support the joint development and enhancement of best practice standards in South Africa and their implementation in professional development to establish the internationally active "ICPO Academy for Theranostics."
The ICPO Foundation aims to develop an international network of physical diagnostic and therapeutic centers dedicated to Radiomolecular Precision Oncology. It has launched the ICPO Academy for Theranostics and is driving forward the research of innovative radiopharmaceuticals. The Foundation's mission is to ensure that cutting-edge cancer therapies are accessible to patients worldwide. The ICPO Centers work under a social operating model based on shared know-how, certified education, and standardized design and processes that enable the implementation of best clinical practices on a global scale. The ICPO Foundation has successfully established ICPO Collaborating Centers in Germany, China, India, Australia and Egypt. Expansion plans are underway, with upcoming centers in locations globally.
The Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI), an integral component within the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR) of the Department of Science and Technology, serves as a specialized medical imaging facility with a dedicated focus on advancing drug development and clinical research in the realm of nuclear technologies for medicine and biosciences. NuMeRI as a South African national infrastructure partners with University of Pretoria, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, NECSA, iThemba Labs and all South African universities. Operating within the healthcare domain, NuMeRI fosters a collaborative environment for medical research and practice, driven by the shared objective of improving public health. The research conducted at NuMeRI is oriented towards the development of therapies targeting national priority diseases.
NuMeRI plays a pivotal role in bolstering the public healthcare sector by providing essential infrastructure that is unique to its fields and by facilitating the development of critical and scarce skilled medical professionals. The objectives of NuMeRI align inherently with the priorities outlined by the National Department of Health. The infrastructure rollout plan of NuMeRI involved a phased approach, including establishing an interim pre-clinical imaging facility at Necsa, Pelindaba, designed to ensure immediate operations during the construction of the primary NuMeRI site. The completed infrastructure situated at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital is now a one-stop shop for imaging and therapy.
The NuMeRI will provide advice and recommendations to the ICPO Foundation on how precision oncology's international quality standards, processes, and procedures can be best implemented in South Africa. The aim of the parties is that the theranostics center in Pretoria promote the "ICPO Academy for Theranostics" in South Africa, including at national society meetings, and act as a point of contact in South Africa for interested parties and registration of participants. The center will be allowed under ICPO certification and in alignment with the ICPO Academy curriculum for practical training of physicians, chemists, physicists, nurses, technologists, and other participants in its facilities for various time durations. NuMeRI will provide advice and recommendations to ICPO on how international quality standards, processes, and procedures of precision oncology can be best implemented in South Africa
Odile Jaume, CEO of the ICPO Foundation, expressed her intense enthusiasm for the partnership, stating: "This collaboration positions the Theranostics Center NuMeRI in Pretoria as a leading partner within both the ICPO network and South Africa, marking a new chapter in cancer care. We aim to broaden patient access to innovative Radiomolecular Precision Oncology therapy worldwide and to further develop the ICPO Academy for Theranostics in collaboration with top-tier partners."
Dr. Mike Sathekge, CEO & President of NuMeRI, emphasized this commitment: "Collaborating with the ICPO Foundation, our theranostics center is leading a transformative shift toward precision oncology in South Africa. The research infrastructure provided by NuMeRI extends support to healthcare research and development, benefiting both academic and commercially driven healthcare entities, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. As an ICPO Collaboration Center, we benefit from the global community and exchange with world-class experts within the foundation."

About ICPO Foundation

The International Centers for Precision Oncology Foundation (ICPO) is a non-profit organization established in 2019 under German law by leading international medical practitioners and life sciences entrepreneurs. Recognizing a paradigm shift in cancer care from one size fits all to a personalized approach, the ICPO Foundation is helping to build momentum to scale global patient access to Radiomolecular Precision Oncology to support this shift. Therefore, the ICPO Foundation aims to develop an international network of physical diagnostic and therapeutic Centers for Precision Oncology organized in a Social Franchise model based on shared know-how, certified education with the ICPO Academy for Theranostics, and design and process standardization that enables best clinical practice globally. Furthermore, it is the ICPO Foundation's objective to empower its Centers by embedding them in a highly inclusive Community that spearheads its model and lives up to the Precision Oncology promise by making it available to all patients in need, irrespective of country or social status.
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