Manufacturing French Company Orano Med Opens New Radiation Production Facility...

French Company Orano Med Opens New Radiation Production Facility Near Indianapolis

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In a nuclear medicine surge, industry leader Orano Med has selected the U.S. as a production site for further radiopharma development. Orano Med, which is developing tailor-made alpha therapies for cancer, has launched its first Alpha Therapy Laboratory (ATLab) near Indianapolis in Brownsburg, USA. This site represents the company’s first manufacturing facility for lead-212-based radioligand therapies on an industrial scale.

Radiopharmaceuticals are directed radioactive agents that function effectively for diagnosing diseases in small doses, while in higher doses, they are useful for curing cancers and other diseases. Unlike other market offerings such as Novartis’s Pluvicto and Lutathera, which employ beta-emitting isotopes, Orano Med utilizes the alpha-emitting isotope lead-212.

Historically, there have been two types of radiotherapies, and the global market has preferred beta particles because beta emitters were comparatively easier to obtain, according to Orano CEO Dodet in an email interview. However, using alpha particles, as Orano Med does, is expected to improve the efficiency of drug candidates.

Orano Med plans to invest $20 million in ATLab Indianapolis, which will cover 30,000 square feet and create 25 new positions within the company. This development follows Orano Med’s move to commence construction of a similar facility in Valenciennes, France, to cater to the European market.

Combined, these facilities will enable Orano Med to produce 10,000 radiopharma doses per year for global use by 2025. The company aims to achieve the production of 100,000 doses by 2030, as stated in a press release.

Orano Med’s CEO Dodet emphasized the importance of manufacturers developing radioligand therapies to carefully plan their manufacturing and supply schemes. Due to the short half-life of isotopes, radiotherapies must be manufactured ‘just in time’ to be administered to patients.

The demand for radiopharmaceuticals, including alpha emitters, continues to rise. Current manufacturing complexes often rely on isotope supplies from Cold War legacy stock or the U.S. Department of Energy, which cannot meet the growing demand, the CEO stressed.

The technology has received increasing attention, particularly from companies in the oncology sector. Novartis remains a leader in this field, having brought two FDA-approved radiotherapies to market. Recently, Novartis acquired Mariana Oncology for up to $1.75 billion, further highlighting its interest in the sector.

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