ITM opens world's largest lutetium-177 production site

June 13, 2023

Radiopharmaceutical specialist ITM Isotope Technologies (ITM) announced the opening of its new production facility for therapeutic radionuclides in Neufahrn near Munich, Germany.

According to ITM, its new facility is the world’s largest production site of lutetium-177, an innovative medical isotope used in targeted cancer therapies. 

Founded in 2004, ITM and its subsidiaries have established GMP manufacturing and a  global supply network of medical radioisotopes and generator platforms for a new generation of targeted cancer diagnostics and therapies. ITM is also developing a proprietary portfolio of targeted treatments in various stages of clinical development, which address a range of cancers such as neuroendocrine tumors, glioblastoma, prostate cancer, folate receptor α positive tumors like ovarian cancer.

With a market estimated to exceed $13 billion by 2030 and a space lit up with acquisitions, new company launches and clinical trials, therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals have become an exciting sector of the pharma industry. And medical isotopes, the source of radiopharmaceuticals’ tumor-destroying power, are a vital piece of the supply chain. Lutetium-177 — which is a beta emitter, meaning it emits radiation in the form of negatively charged beta particles — currently has the lion’s share of presence in clinical trials. Both of Novartis’ approved drugs, Lutathera and Pluvicto, rely on lutetium.

The growing popularity of certain isotopes combined with the limited number of nuclear reactors, as well as the ultra-rare input materials and complex purification processes needed to make radioisotopes, means that isotope supply has been and remains top of mind for those in the radiopharma space.

To that end, ITM says once the new NOVA production facility is fully operational, the company will increase its capacity to supply clinics, pharmaceutical partners and its own drug pipeline tenfold.