NuMeRI is a not-for-profit company, providing a framework to consolidate expertise and to implement new strategic initiatives in nuclear technologies in medicine and the biosciences, creating significant Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) capacity in South Africa.

This research infrastructure is implemented using a phased approach, with the establishment of an interim pre-clinical imaging facility at Necsa, Pelindaba. This will create immediate opportunities for research and development during the construction of the main NuMeRI facility.

The completed infrastructure will be a distributed network comprised of the PET Center for infection Imaging at Tygerberg Hospital ( managed by the Stellenbosch University); a facility at iThemba LABS in Cape Town, plus the Main NuMeRI facility at Steve Biko Academic Hospital [SBAH] ( also called the ‘center’ or ‘hub’). The hub will be equipped with a cyclotron, a GMP Radiopharmacy production facility, plus state-of-the-art pre-clinical imaging modalities.

The research infrastructure will provide enabling support for health research, development and innovation for academia as well as for commercially driven healthcare companies (pharmaceutical and biotechnology).

NuMeRI`s effectiveness will be measured in terms of research, development, innovation and value generation in areas of country-and region-specific health challenges.

NuMeRI will be instrumental in capacitating the public health care sectors with critical and scarce skilled medical and scientific professionals through their access to and training in key infrastructure that is unique to their field(s). It is self-evident that the very nature of NuMeRI`s research activities necessitates an alignment of their objectives with the priorities of the NDoH.

The main NuMeRI facility at SBAH (hub) is strategically located in the designated center / hospital with an existing track record and a high concentration of relevant expertise. The clinicians and scientists will be equipped with state-of-the art infrastructure, placing an expanded range of modern treatment options at their fingertips. Furthermore, through collaboration with international specialists, the local population will have access to world class health in their own backyard.

NuMeRI`s pre-clinical drug screening platform and clinical research will complement the array of imaging modalities. These assets will permit higher quality information to be generated during the early stages in drug development through visualization of the efficiency of new drug candidates and the capacity to select the most efficacious agents more rapidly. The information produced from the imaging studies will greatly support the dossier of information needed for registration of medicines with the regulators.

NuMeRI`s clinical research program will span a significant range of diseases and conditions of national importance, and will provide tools for individualized diagnostics and therapeutics. The concept of NuMeRI is the embodiment of socio-economic development through research, development and innovation and is strategically poised as an enabling platform to facilitate the fulfilment of the national Development Plan (“Vision 2030”).

- Author M Vorster
Published by Mariza Vorster

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