Orano Med Begins Production of Lead-212 Medicines for Cancer Treatment

On June 6th, Orano Med inaugurated the ATLab pharmaceutical laboratory in the northern United States. It is the first of its fleet designed for the industrial production of radiomarked cancer treatments with lead-212.

Orano Med, a subsidiary of Orano, has started constructing several pharmaceutical laboratories in France and the United States for the industrial production of lead-212 therapies in oncology. On June 6, 2024, Orano Med inaugurated the first of these, the ATLab (Alpha Therapy Laboratory), in Brownsburg near Indianapolis, USA. The facility spans over 2,800 square meters and represented an investment of 20 million dollars.

Lead-212, derived from the natural decay of thorium, is an alpha emitter. It is used in targeted alpha therapy to precisely destroy certain cancer cells. However, the challenge with this approach lies in its production and distribution on an industrial scale. The construction of this laboratory marks a major first step and offers hope to patients in therapeutic deadlock in the North American sector. “From 2025, Orano Med will be able to manufacture 10,000 doses per year and aims to produce ten times more by the end of the decade,” assures the Orano subsidiary.

“The establishment of ATLab in Indianapolis is a very important step for developing Orano’s medical activities in the United States. Coupled with the lead-212 production capabilities of our research unit in Plano, Texas (Domestic Distribution & Purification Unit), this new industrial site will serve North American patients with targeted radiotherapies using lead-212,” said Guillaume Dureau, Director of Projects & Innovation R&D and Medical Nuclear at the Orano group, during the inauguration ceremony.

On February 2, 2024, Orano Med began the construction of the first pharmaceutical laboratory to meet European needs. It bears the same name as its American counterpart and is located in Onnaing in the Hauts-de-France region. ■

By François Terminet (Sfen)

Image: Julien Dodet, CEO of Orano Med & Guillaume Dureau, Director of Projects & Innovation R&D and Medical Nuclear for the Orano Group, at the inauguration ceremony. Source: ©Orano/Orano Med