The demand for radioisotopes in medicine is growing at a rapid rate, as radioactive compounds can be used as tracers to understand mass balance and metabolic profiles of drugs. Carbon-14 is a common radioactive isotope that’s used as a tracer in biochemistry methods such as DMPK and ADME studies.
Oftentimes, the trouble with ADME and DMPK programs is the limited availability of radiolabeled compounds, such as carbon-14. Less than one atom of carbon in a million exist in the world naturally, and the price of the compound is continuously escalating due to its limited availability.
API manufacturing companies have emphasized the need for compounds such as carbon-14. This need has been met by the development of radio synthesized compounds for greater access and drug development, despite their limited natural availability.
Here’s how radiosynthesis supports drug development.
Benefits of Carbon-14
Carbon-14 is one of the most popular radiolabeled compounds, and the development of radio synthesized carbon-14 is revolutionary to the drug development process. One benefit of carbon-14 is that the exact position of the label can be selected based upon the synthetic route employed for labeling. This leaves the radiolabeling site in a position that’s more likely to be metabolically stable.
Additionally, carbon-14 labeled compounds exhibit greater radiochemical stability than other compounds such as tritium compounds. These compounds have higher specific activity material, which increases the risk of significant autoradiolysis during storage or use of the radiolabeled compound. Carbon-14 is also detectable at very low levels, which makes it an ideal choice for in vivo studies where researchers often use doses that are close to the pharmacological threshold.
Role of Radiosynthesis
Understanding how radiosynthesis supports drug development begins with an understanding of why carbon-14 is so imperative to biochemistry. Carbon-14 and other similar compounds make drug development more precise, safe, and cost-effective by minimizing errors.
Radiosynthesis creates a solution for the lack of natural compounds, including carbon-14, that researchers rely so heavily on in drug development. With radiosynthesis, the scarce availability of natural made compounds is less of a worry, allowing drug development to continue undisturbed.