Pharmaceutical company Orano Med has commenced construction of its manufacturing facility, Alpha Therapy Laboratory (ATLab) Valenciennes, in Onnaing, France. 

The lab is said to become Europe’s first industrial-scale facility dedicated to the production of lead-212-based radioligand therapies.  

Once built, the facility will help address the production challenges of these therapies and meet the needs of cancer patients with limited treatment options. 

The ground-breaking ceremony for the facility was attended by Onnaing mayor Xavier Jouanin; Valenciennes Métropole president and Valenciennes mayor Laurent Degallaix; as well as regional councillor for the Circular Economy Aurore Colson, among others.

Targeted Alpha Therapy uses lead-212 to combine biological molecules’ targeting capabilities with the cell-killing properties of alpha emissions.  

The facility, spanning more than 3,000m², represents an investment of €29m ($31.24m). 

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Orano Projects & Innovation R&D and Nuclear Medicine senior executive vice-president Guillaume Dureau said: “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 revitalise our country’s industrial and economic fabric.” 

The development is expected to create 25 direct jobs and will concentrate on producing and distributing lead-212 therapies developed by Orano within Europe.

It has also been selected under the France 2030 plan and will receive public funding of approximately €3.8m to work towards this.