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​​The main objective of the ISOBIOTICS project is to fund the PhDs (three or four years) of 11 early-career researchers in the field of isotope labeling of biological drugs, and provide them with a dual academic and industrial culture to meet the needs of industry.


HORIZON-MSCA-2021-DN #101072780

Published on 4 August 2023


The ISOBIOTICS project, coordinated by Dr. Christophe Dugave at CEA (SCBM/DMTS), aims to develop new approaches for the isotopic labeling of biological drugs such as peptides, proteins, oligonucleotides and analogues, with 2H/3H, 13C/14C and 18F through the training of talented young chemists between 2023 and 2027. Fellows will prepare a PhD in 3 or 4 years (depending on their university of affiliation).

ISOBIOTICS: a new strategy for the isotopic labeling of biological drugs
Recent years have seen the clinical introduction of bio-drugs such as peptides, proteins and oligonucleotides, due to their specificity and low toxicity compared to chemical drugs. Analysis of the pharmacokinetics of these bio-drugs requires the incorporation of radioisotopes to trace their distribution in the body. The radiolabeling of biopharmaceuticals represents a major challenge. However, radiolabeling of biopharmaceuticals represents a major challenge, and in order to reduce their immunogenicity, overcome their fragility and increase their ability to reach their target, it is mainly small-scale biologics that are being developed. The ambition of the ISOBIOTICS project is therefore to develop a new radiolabeling strategy adapted to these particular molecules to i) advance research and development into biotherapies that are more effective in terms of targeting and less immunogenic, and ii) train a new generation of radiochemists with a dual academic and industrial culture who will implement these methods to meet the needs of European industry.

Objectives and ambitions :
- Develop new, chemically harmless strategies for late-stage radiolabeling of large peptides, small to medium-sized proteins, oligonucleotides and analogues with deuterium, tritium, carbon-14 (phase 0 preclinical and clinical evaluation) and fluorine-18 (phase I-III clinical trials).
- Train a new generation of talented young PhD students specializing in radiolabeling of bio-products through a combination of interdisciplinary laboratory research, cross-disciplinary and cross-industry secondments, technical courses, scientific conferences and complementary skills workshops.
- Ensure the appropriate dissemination, exploitation and communication of all ISOBIOTICS results to maximize the project's impact and influence
- Guarantee the employment of students and the sustainability of training structures

Project duration 

4 years

2,7 millions €

​Number of partners 


Starting date​

February 01, 2023

Coordinator : CEA

 Joliot institute contact : Christophe Dugave (


 - Websites  -

 ISOBIOTICS official video

ISOBIOTICS Newsletter n°1​ (summer 2023)​​

agreement number  : 101072780

About Doctoral networks (ex-itn)

Objective of Doctoral Networks (DN, ex ITN)
Implement doctoral programmes by partnerships of organisations from different sectors across Europe and beyond to train highly skilled doctoral candidates, stimulate their creativity, enhance their innovation capacities and boost their employability in the long-term.

Types of Doctoral Networks
Doctoral Networks implement doctoral programmes, by partnerships of universities, research institutions and infrastructures, businesses including SMEs, and other socio-economic actors from different countries across Europe and beyond. These doctoral programmes will respond to well-identified needs in various research and innovation areas, expose the researchers to the academic and non-academic sectors, and offer research training, as well as transferable skills and competences relevant for innovation and long-term employability. Besides standard Doctoral Networks, incentives have been introduced to promote two specific types of doctorates as well:
Industrial Doctorates. They train PhD candidates who wish develop their skills and step outside academia, in particular in industry and business. Individual participants must be enrolled in a doctoral programme and jointly supervised by the academic and non-academic partners.
Joint Doctorates. They provide a highly integrated type of international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration in doctoral training leading to a joint doctoral degree or multiple doctoral degrees awarded by the participating institutions. PhD candidates must be enrolled in a joint programme and be jointly supervised.