Framatome has signed a service agreement with Global Morpho Pharma for the development of a high-capacity technology for the purification of medical radioisotope non-carrier-added (nca) Lutetium-177 (Lu-177). This is intended to align production capacity with the increasing demand for this radioisotope.

Global Morpho Pharma has developed a patented technology to separate Lu-177 from Ytterbium-176 (Yb-176) targets, with capacities up to 50 times greater than is possible with existing technologies. Framatome will provide its laboratory expertise and services to validate the pilot equipment at industrial scale at Framatome’s Technical Centre in Erlangen, Germany.

Lu-177 is a beta-emitting radioisotope used in targeted radionuclide therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer and in multiple promising radiopharmaceutical developments for other cancer indications. Framatome’s proprietary isotope production technology enabled the first large-scale commercial production of nca Lu-177 in a power reactor in June 2022.

The global demand for nca Lu-177 is expected to increase 15-fold by 2030 to reach 300,000 treated patients, and initiatives across the manufacturing chain are needed to align the production with the growing demand. Global Morpho Pharma’s technology will enable a significant increase in target processing capacity which will contribute to securing the supply of nca Lu-177.

“We are looking forward to validate our high mass processing technology at industrial scale with the support of Framatome’s team,” said François Zimmermann, CEO of Global Morpho Pharma. “This technology will enable efficient use of high mass irradiation systems with a low infrastructure requirement. It will complement our KaLupso solution designed for local Lu-177 processing in a market where diversification and efficiency of the value chain will be key.”

Image: Framatome is to support Global Morpho Pharma’s high-capacity technology development for Lutetium-177 separation (courtesy of Framatome)