Scanner boost for medical research

RDA One NorthEast has provided £2.3m towards a PET scanner for a new medical research facility

RDA One NorthEast has provided £2.3m towards a new PET scanner for the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and the Campus of Ageing and Vitality at Newcastle University.

The £2.5m machine, which has also received funding from the university, will form a key element of a larger proposed PET centre, a comprehensive imaging facility to exploit research strengths across three main therapeutic areas – oncology, ageing and neuroscience.

Dr Caroline Gladwell, One NorthEast’s Healthcare Innovation Manager, said: ‘PET scanning, which is underprovided in the UK compared with other developed countries, is an important tool for diagnosis and treatment. The scanner and centre will facilitate the retention and expansion of research and development expertise within Newcastle University, while clinical and commercial opportunities will also be advanced.’

The funding came via One NorthEast’s Innovation, Industry and Science programme.

The PET facility, which is based at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality at Newcastle General Hospital, allows Newcastle University scientists to participate in early clinical trials with innovative drugs and will attract collaborative research within the medical imaging, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Dr Ross Maxwell, Director of the PET facility, said: ‘The PET scanner is an important step forward as it provides researchers with a non-invasive technique for examining the effect of drugs. When combined with the wealth of expertise in Newcastle, it will help the growth of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the north east.’