CHALK RIVER, Ontario: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, on Wednesday announced that Ram Mullur has joined the organization as its new Vice-President of Isotope Business. Mullur is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of broad industry experience and a thorough understanding of the medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals landscape, and will work to grow CNL’s leadership position in the development and supply of medical and industrial isotopes.
With over one billion treatments conducted using isotopes produced at the Chalk River Laboratories campus, CNL has been a world leader in the production of medical isotopes for decades. As part of its Vision 2030 plan, CNL is leveraging this expertise to become an international hub in the research, development and supply of the next-generation of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, including actinium-225, a rare isotope that shows great promise as the basis for new, cutting-edge cancer therapies.
“Given his leadership and industry experience, we believe Ram will be an exceptional addition to CNL as we pursue the next-generation of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals at our Chalk River Laboratories campus,” said Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “Ram has a deep understanding of the Canadian and international radiopharmaceutical market, with expertise that spans development to distribution, and his leadership will help us navigate production pathways for actinium-225 and the commercialization of other promising isotopes.”
Among his responsibilities as Vice-President of Isotope Business, Mullur will lead CNL’s efforts to pursue commercial opportunities related to actinium-225, a rare medical isotope that shows great promise as the basis for new, cutting-edge cancer therapies. An alpha-emitting isotope with a short half-life, actinium-225 can be combined with a protein or antibody that specifically targets and kills cancer cells, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue unharmed. With a short half-life of just ten days, the actinium then decays without accumulating in a patient’s body.
Known as targeted alpha therapy, this form of treatment has shown exciting potential in early studies with prostate cancer patients for whom conventional cancer therapies have not worked. Researchers are eager to try this targeted alpha therapy approach with a wide range of cancers. However, current global supplies of actinium-225 would only be enough to treat a handful of patients every year, leading the isotope to be nicknamed, “the rarest drug on Earth.” CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories campus is one of only a few locations in the world with a thorium generator that can produce this material in research-scale quantities.
“CNL has a strong reputation as a world leader in the production and processing of medical isotopes, and I’m incredibly excited to join the team and help build on this legacy,” said Mullur. “In particular, I believe that CNL’s research in targeted alpha therapy and actinium-225 holds great promise in the development of new and innovative medical breakthroughs to fight cancer. It is this ambitious program of work that drew me to the position, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to his arrival at CNL, Mullur served as the Director and Head of Business Development at a leading radiopharmaceutical company, where he was responsible for expanding its commercial business into new products and technologies in the nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceutical field. This experience included leading acquisition, investment and licensing initiatives, negotiating business contracts and pursuing strategic partnerships and collaborations. Among his many accomplishments, Mullur helped advance key products in the company’s development pipeline to their commercial phase and was instrumental in the growth of its new product portfolio. He also shaped, negotiated and helped complete external business partnerships for novel radiopharmaceutical products.
Mullur has also served in leadership positions at other health sciences and industrial companies as a global brand manager, production operations manager, and quality and plant operations manager. He completed his MBA at McGill University, holds a M.Sc. in Chemistry and is certified in Canadian Risk Management.
For more information on CNL, including its leadership team, visit www.cnl.ca.