AREVA announced today that its subsidiary AREVA Med, which specializes in nuclear medicine, has received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin U.S. clinical trials for a new treatment aimed at combating cancer. This is the first such authorization for clinical trials using the lead-212 isotope worldwide.
AREVA has developed a process for extracting lead-212 from thorium derived from its industrial activities. Lead-212 is a rare radioactive isotope that lies at the heart of promising nuclear medical research to develop new cancer treatments. This innovative approach, known as alpha radio-immunotherapy, specifically pinpoints and destroys cancer cells while limiting toxicity to healthy cells.
Phase I* clinical trials will begin this year in the United States and will take approximately two years to complete.
“Nuclear energy and nuclear medicine are technology- and capital-intensive disciplines that have strong historical links. AREVA is a forward-thinking company, and our investment in AREVA Med is one of many aimed at developing innovative solutions that improve people’s lives. This landmark FDA authorization is a very important step that could lead to a potential treatment for very aggressive and lethal cancers,” said Jacques Besnainou, CEO of AREVA North America.
“This decisive FDA authorization brings us much closer to our ultimate goal – creating innovative treatments to combat cancer. This authorization represents a major recognition of the expertise and commitment of AREVA’s team and that of our top-notch scientific partners,” said Patrick Bourdet, President and CEO of AREVA Med.
In nuclear medicine, the development of new treatments is constrained by the availability of isotopes. AREVA announced in 2010 the construction of a facility to produce lead-212 in the Limousin region of France, which would facilitate the creation of new treatments for patients.
*A Phase I clinical trial primarily aims at confirming the safety of treatments in patients.
Tags: AREVA Med, FDA, lead-212, Patrick Bourdet, Thorium