In the early 2000s, Areva (now Orano) looked at opportunities to use material derived from its core nuclear energy activities. Nuclear medicine and Radioligand Therapy quickly appeared very promising. 212Pb was identified as offering tangible scientific prospects, and Orano had the necessary know-how to meet the challenges involved in its procurement.
With sufficient resources to produce 212Pb in larger quantities, the project soon emerged to demonstrate the feasibility of extracting and purifying this isotope. Successful results followed by conclusive preclinical studies with the National Cancer Institute in the US led to the creation of Orano Med in 2009.