Orano Med (a subsidiary of the Orano Group), a company associated with the development of targeted alpha therapies for oncology, today laid the foundation stone for its ATLab (Alpha Therapy Laboratory) in Onnaing, France.
This will be Europe's first industrial-scale pharmaceutical facility dedicated to the production of lead-212 based radioligand therapies.
Targeted Alpha Therapy with lead-212 combines the natural ability of biological molecules to target cancer cells with the short-range cell-killing capabilities of lead-212 generated alpha emissions.
The development of these therapies has long been hampered by the difficulty to manufacture on an industrial scale. The construction of Orano Med's ATLab Valenciennes is therefore a major step towards making these promising new treatments available to cancer patients with high unmet needs.
ATLab Valenciennes, with over 3,000 m² of floor space, will represent an investment of €29 million and will create 25 direct jobs.
It will focus on the production of lead-212 therapies developed by Orano Med and their distribution in Europe. Orano Med is due to inaugurate a similar facility this year in Indianapolis to serve the US market.
This combined capacity will enable Orano Med to manufacture 10,000 doses a year as of 2025, with the aim of producing ten times that number by the end of the decade. Given the short half-life of lead-212 (10.6 hours), the drugs need to be produced close to hospitals. The construction of further ATLabs is therefore envisaged to meet patients' needs worldwide.
Guillaume Dureau, the Orano Group's Senior Executive Vice-President Projects & Innovation R&D and Nuclear Medecine, commented: "The ATLab in Onnaing is a very important step in our development strategy and is situated at the very heart of the industrial fabric of the Valenciennes metropolitan area and the Hauts-de-France region. The expansion of our production capacity in the radiopharmaceutical field is part of a drive to revitalize our country’s industrial and economic fabric."