Norway’s Algeta has received a NKr10.5m ($1.9m) grant to develop novel anti-cancer drugs based on the thorium-227 isotope.

Thorium-227 emits high-energy alpha particles that have been shown to be potent at killing tumour cells and only have a highly localised effect.

Algeta executive vice-president and chief technology officer Thomas Ramdahl said the grant will be used to build on research to support the development of targeted thorium conjugates, which may provide a new way to generate improved anti-cancer agents.

The grant has been awarded through Norway’s BIA programme, which funds research-based innovation projects regardless of which industry they are for.