Nuclear medicine against cancer

With its Orano Med subsidiary, Orano is at the forefront of research in nuclear medicine and is developing new therapies against cancer. In 2013, a unique laboratory in the world, specialized in the production of lead-212, was inaugurated in Bessines-sur-Gartempe. This radioactive isotope coming from thorium is very promising in alpha therapy, an innovative form of radiotherapy that limits the impact on healthy cells.
Arcolab, Orano Med à Bessines-sur-Gartempe, France Tubes, Arcolab, Orano Med in Bessines-sur-Gartempe, France © Eric Larrayadieu / Orano
  • 2012-2014 : first clinical trial for lead-212
  • #1 laboratory dedicated to the production of high-purity lead-212
  • 9 international scientific partners
  • 2 distinctions for research conducted by Orano Med
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Medical research

Following the development of a unique extraction process for lead-212, Orano Med's targeted research work in alpha therapy has undergone unprecedented growth. The first clinical trial started in 2012. Since then, research has continued to produce an isotope of very high purity and to develop new treatments.
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Lead-212: a very promising isotope

The expertise of Orano in advanced nuclear technologies has enabled the development of a method for the stable extraction of high-purity lead-212. Already used in the research against cancer, this radioactive isotope coming from the decay chain of thorium-232, was all too rare. This shortage was hampering research on alpha therapy. At present, two lead-212 production units in France and the United States offer an invaluable supply for the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry.
2005
Discovery of the process of extraction of the lead 212
2
production units of lead 212 high purity in France and in the United States
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Production of lead-212

In 2013, Orano Med inaugurated the Maurice Tubiana laboratory in Bessines-sur-Gartempe, a lead-212 production facility unique in the world. This laboratory uses a robust extraction process for this rare metal in order to meet the needs of clinical development.
Since 2016, a new production unit has been operating in Texas to increase production of lead-212 and to better meet the growing demand of the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community.
Producting PB212 Deposit on filter of a lead drop 212Pb, ArcoLab. Bessines, France © Eric Larrayadieu / Orano
Macrocyclics Inc., a subsidiary of Orano Med, specializes in the production of chelating agents used in nuclear medicine. Its main activities include:
● Process chemistry and ligand design.
● Feasibility studies for process optimization.
● Bioconjugation development and cGMP manufacturing.
● Custom design, manufacture, and cGMP production of chelates.
● Identification and selection of appropriate chelating agents for specific applications.
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Targeted alphatherapy, an innovative nuclear medicine

Paul Jurek in Laboratory Macrocyclics, Dallas, United-States Paul Jurek from laboratory Macrocyclics, Dallas, United-States © Warren Wright / Orano
Orano Med combines biotechnologies and nuclear technology to develop new therapies in the fight against cancer. The medical subsidiary of Orano has developed a unique process for the extraction and purification of lead-212 (212Pb). This rare metal is now the subject of much research and appears in promising new treatments in the field of nuclear medicine. Orano Med is working on an innovative therapeutic approach: targeted alpha therapy, which recognizes and destroys cancer cells, while limiting the impact on surrounding healthy cells. Several international experts belong to its Scientific Committee and Orano Med has received an award from the Bill Clinton Foundation and the "Marie Curie Medal" from the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN).
2012-2014 first clinical trial of lead alpha therapy-212. 18 patients treated.
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