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Unique Profit-Free Consortium Releases Immediate Capacity and Infrastructure to Accelerate COVID-19 Treatments and Vaccine Research

27 March 2020

GRONINGEN(The Netherlands) - March 27th, 2020– TRACER B.V. ("TRACER") and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) have consolidated their efforts, expertise and infrastructure to accelerate the drug development of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, which are urgently needed and studied by multiple R&D groups around the world.

The COVID-19 RAPID CURE TASK FORCE is offering the global community unique access to immediately generate in-human data on a potential COVID-19 treatment or vaccine by providing:

  • Hot and Cold GMP facilities for clinical nuclear and fluorescent labeling
  • Nuclear and fluorescent in-human state-of-the-art imaging facilities
  • Clinical equipment and machinery such as digital PET/CT scanners and fluorescent cameras for lung imaging
  • Staffing and priority time slots to conduct imaging in patients
  • Guidance and expertise by world renowned scientists from academia and industry

Among the core team are Prof. Rudi Dierckx and Prof. Andor Glaudemans from the Medical Imaging Center at the UMCG and Prof. Erik Frijlink from the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy. Prof. Erik Frijlink states, “As pharmacists we are committed to provide the safest, most efficient and effective treatment to the patients with COVID-19. We support this TASK FORCE with all knowledge, technology and expertise as is currently already underway with treatment measures like developments for intra-pulmonary hydroxychloroquine installment for the patients with COVID-19 within the RAPID CURE TASK FORCE”.

TRACER will provide its unique expertise in nuclear /fluorescent labeling and imaging to generate fast in-human biodistribution, pharmacokinetic and on-and off-target data. This data allows scientists and drug developers to very quickly see whether their therapeutic compound reaches the lungs efficiently, where it acts on the virus present.

Prof. Go van Dam (CEO at TRACER) emphasizes “In these extraordinary times in the world due to COVID-19, we need to act FAST and combine ALL our scientific knowledge, research infrastructure together with biotech-pharma industry to deliver the fastest cure possible for patients with COVID-19 and the global society as a whole. Only focused approaches and innovative technologies can reduce the time to treatment –we need to act NOW!”

About TRACER– TRACER accelerates clinical decision-making by imaging drug binding in human. TRACER utilizes FDA approved microdosing and fluorescence optical imaging techniques and provides the fastest in-human accurate data on whether the tested compound reaches the target tissue. This reduces the time-to-market with up to 50% and makes R&D more cost efficient.

About UMCG – the UMCG is the largest hospital in the Northern part of The Netherlands. More than 10,000 employees provide patient care, are involved in medical education and perform cutting-edge scientific research.Research at UMCG is characterized by a combination of fundamental and patient oriented clinical research. UMCG rapidly got involved in researching innovative cures to battle COVID-19.

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