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Isotope Labeling for Drug Innovation


The main objective of the ISOTOPICS project will be to train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) during 3-year PhD fellowships to meet the need of industry by providing new researchers specialized in labeling chemistry with a dual academic/industrial culture.

H2020 funding: Innovative Training Networks - ITN (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions)


Published on 1 January 2016


Excessive attrition rates during clinical trials dramatically impact on Drug Discovery and Development (DDD). Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion studies carried out on larger series of drug candidates at an earlier stage of the DDD timeline and evaluation of drug efficacy through better assessment of pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships, target engagement and receptor occupancy are critically important approaches for de-risking drug innovation since they facilitate early identification of the candidates that display the best in vivo profile.

When successfully implemented, this strategy can accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic solutions to existing and emerging diseases, and enhance European pharmaceutical innovation. For implementation, large sets of isotopically-labeled molecules are required and consequently, a huge revival of labeling techniques is urgently needed. Another crucial issue is the scarcity of expert radiochemists in Europe and the lack of first class training programs in this inter-disciplinary field merging chemistry, radiochemistry and medicinal chemistry.​

The aims of ISOTOPICS are:

  • i) to train the next generation of European chemists with expertise in isotopic labeling and advanced medicinal chemistry through a first-class taught and research training program combined with a highly interactive secondments plan;
  • ii) to develop innovative and general isotopic labeling chemistry and radiochemistry to streamline the synthesis of labeled small-molecule drugs and biologics;
  • iii) to work closely with the European pharmaceutical industry to apply the new labeling methods to drugs currently in development in order to provide solutions to the most pressing problems in drug innovation.


4 years

3.95 millions €

​Number of partners


Starting date

01 January 2016

Coordinator : CEA

Joliot Institute Contact: Christophe Dugave (


H2020 agreement ID: 675071

About ITN

The Innovative Training Networks (ITN) aim to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. Partnerships take the form of collaborative:

  • European Training Networks(ETN),

  • European Industrial Doctorates (EID),

  • European Joint Doctorates(EJD)

The beneficiary organizations are located in a Member State of the European Union or an associated country and recruit young researchers. Partner organizations can be located in any country and participate in the training of young researchers.