Orano Med lays foundations for new manufacturing site for the production of lead-212 radioligand therapies

Orano Med (a subsidiary of the Orano Group), a pioneer in the development of targeted alpha therapies for oncology, today laid the foundation stone for its ATLab (Alpha Therapy Laboratory) in Onnaing (France, 59). This will be Europe's first industrial-scale pharmaceutical facility dedicated to the production of lead-212 based radioligand therapies.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Xavier Jouanin, Mayor of Onnaing, Laurent Degallaix, President of Valenciennes Métropole and Mayor of Valenciennes, Aurore Colson, Regional Councillor for the Circular Economy, Lise Alter, Managing Director of the French Health Innovation Agency (AIS - Agence de l'Innovation en santé), Guillaume Dureau, Senior Executive Vice-President Projects & Innovation R&D and Nuclear Medicine for the Orano Group, Julien Dodet, CEO of Orano Med, and Guillaume Quenet, sub-prefect of Valenciennes.

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."

Julien Dodet, CEO of Orano Med: "We are convinced that radioligand therapies will soon become an essential tool in the fight against cancer. As the Phase II clinical trial of our most advanced drug AlphaMedix nears completion, we are building a global industrial platform to ensure the large-scale production and distribution of these potential treatments."

The construction of ATLab Valenciennes is supported by the Hauts de France region and the Valenciennes metropolitan area. The project has also been selected under the France 2030 plan following the call for "Industrialization and health capacities 2030" projects and will receive public support of almost €3.8 million. By using a variety of biological vector technologies to target cancer cells, Orano Med's activities are perfectly aligned with the French national biotherapies - bioproduction acceleration strategy coordinated by the Health Innovation Agency (AIS), which has bringing new cancer biotherapies to market by the end of the decade as one of its key objectives.

About Orano

As a recognized international operator in the field of nuclear materials, Orano delivers solutions to address present and future global energy and health challenges. Its expertise and mastery of cutting-edge technologies enable Orano to offer its customers high value-added products and services throughout the entire fuel cycle. Every day, the Orano group’s 17,000 employees draw on their skills, unwavering dedication to safety and constant quest for innovation, with the commitment to develop know-how in the transformation and control of nuclear materials, for the climate and for a healthy and resource-efficient world, now and tomorrow. 

Orano, giving nuclear energy its full value.

About Orano Med

Orano Med, a subsidiary of the Orano Group, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a new generation of targeted therapies against cancer using the unique properties of lead-212 (212Pb), a rare alpha-emitting radioisotope and one of the most potent therapeutic payloads against cancer cells. This technology is known as targeted alpha therapy (TAT). The company is developing a portfolio of treatments combining 212Pb with a range of targeting vectors. Orano Med has 212Pb production facilities, laboratories and R&D centers in France and the United States. 

The France 2030 investment plan

France 2030 is unprecedented in its scale: €54 billion is being invested so that our businesses, our schools, our universities and our research organizations fully succeed with their transitions in these strategic sectors. The challenge is to enable them to respond in a competitive way to the world’s future ecological and attractiveness challenges, and to showcase the future champions of our sectors of excellence. France 2030 is defined by two overarching objectives, which will see 50% of expenses given over to the decarbonization of the economy, and 50% to emerging key players, those at the forefront of innovation, without neglecting the environment (in the sense of the “Do No Significant Harm” principle).

France 2030 is being implemented collectively: designed and deployed in consultation with economic, academic, local and European key players to establish strategic guidelines and decisive action. Project holders are invited to submit their entries via the current application process, which is a demanding and selective one, to benefit from state support.

France 2030 is being led by the French General Secretariat for Investment, in charge of France 2030, on behalf of the Prime Minister, and in partnership with the relevant government ministries.

France 2030 is being implemented by the French National Research Agency (ANR), the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), Bpifrance and the Caisse des Dépôts et consignation (CDC).


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