March 5, 2007

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE, UNM - The New Mexico Center for Isotopes in Medicine (NMCIM), located at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM COP) UNM Health Sciences Center (HSC), recently received a visit from New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson.

Joining Wilson on her tour of the center’s facilities was COP Dean John A. Pieper, Associate Director of NMCIM Jeffrey Norenberg and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Program Manager Robert Atcher.

The NMCIM is a collaboration of a longstanding partnership between the UNM COP Radiopharmacy Program, the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center (CRTC), Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) and LANL.

Wilson visited the center and the COP to discuss the center’s need for future infrastructure funding.

For 2007, the NMCIM is a designated UNM federal priority for funding in the U.S. Congress and the New Mexico legislature in Santa Fe is currently reviewing a request for non-recurring funding of $3.53 million. This funding will allow NMCIM to develop the required infrastructure to continue as a national resource center for the development of applications for unique medically useful radioisotopes.

New isotopes are needed for targeted diagnostic and therapeutic agents for diseases such as cancer. The idea behind molecular targeting is to design radiopharmaceuticals that specifically target the molecular pathways that cause disease, without disrupting the normal functions of cells and tissues. Drugs developed using this approach can be less toxic and more effective than current medicines.

As more radioisotopes are generated at LANL, the UNM COP Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Program will be called upon to bring its expertise in the handling and formulation of medical isotopes to establish useful and marketable radiopharmaceuticals.

The UNM COP is an established world leader in the training and certification of scientists qualified to formulate and develop novel radiopharmaceuticals. With this leadership, the state of New Mexico is in a prime position to develop these important products and lead the nation in the next generation of radiopharmaceuticals.

For more information on NMCIM visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/pharmacy/isotope/