China launched the construction of an innovative platform for molecular imaging and theranostic medical probes in Huairou Science City in the northeastern suburbs of Beijing on Wednesday, according to Peking University, which is leading the project.
The platform, with a planned construction area of 29,000 square meters and a total investment of approximately 630 million yuan (about $88.67 million), is a key part of the multi-modal and multi-scale biomedical imaging project, one of the major national scientific and technological infrastructure, which was completed in Huairou Science City in 2022 and began trial operations last year, said Yang Zhi, a scientist at Peking University's National Biomedical Imaging Center.
The platform is scheduled to be put into operation in June 2026. Upon completion, it will help the full-function operation of imaging facilities and facilitate technology transformation. It will also be able to observe the entire process of disease occurrence with more precision, as well as panoramically study and analyze major scientific issues in biomedicine.
Molecular imaging technology can decode the occurrence and development mechanisms of diseases in real-time and in vivo from different scales of molecules, cells and tissue and realize the visual diagnosis and treatment of diseases. It has shown great clinical significance in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.
The molecular probe is a tracer with specific biological targeting properties, which is the key to the function of biomedical imaging facilities and is also the core technology and international research frontier in the field of molecular imaging.
According to Yang, the platform comprises four experimental sub-platforms, namely, in vivo chemistry and probe technology, biological imaging probes, multi-modal imaging probes and medical diagnostic probes, alongside a public lab sub-platform.
The primary objective is to establish a comprehensive innovation system for imaging probes, fostering the development of innovative probes, their commercialization and market exploitation, advancing their clinical application and establishing a hub for probe innovative research and development as well as a talent center, Yang said.