Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami says the country aims to become a global hub for manufacturing deuterium drugs.
“In a not too distant future we will turn into a hub for manufacturing drugs based on deuterium which are good alternatives to chemical drugs and have lower side effects in comparison (to those drugs),” said Eslami.
Researchers believe deuterium, which is a heavy isotope of hydrogen, can substantially improve the metabolic properties of medicines and make them more effective by forming a stronger chemical bond to a carbon atom of a molecule used in drugs.
The AEOI launched a second phase of its deuterium production unit in Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility in central Iran in April 2021.
Officials said at the time that the unit was a first in the West Asia region and its isotope products were among the best in the world.
Eslami’s statement about Iran’s plans to become a global hub in deuterium drugs came as he was attending a ceremony to inaugurate a modern gamma knife radiosurgery facility in Tehran.
Eslami, an Iranian deputy president, said the AEOI will continue to provide technologies and equipment to domestic suppliers to help them in their effortsb to manufacture sophisticated drugs and medical appliances.