BELOIT—NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, and Convergent Therapeutics Inc., have signed a long-term agreement where NorthStar will supply the therapeutic medical radioisotope actinimum-225 (Ac-225) to the radiopharmaceutical company.
Convergent will use NorthStar’s Ac-225 to radiolabel its lead asset, CONV01-α, a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted monoclonal antibody, currently being investigated as a potential ground-breaking treatment for prostate cancer.
Ac-225 is a high energy alpha-emitting radioisotope of increasing interest for clinical studies investigating the use of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT), which combines select molecules with therapeutic radioisotopes, such as Ac-225, to directly target and deliver therapeutic doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells in patients with serious disease. Ac-225 carries sufficient radiation to cause cell death in a localized area of targeted cells, while its half-life limits unwanted radioactivity in patients. Clinical research and commercial use of Ac-225 are severely constrained by chronic short supply due to limitations of current production technology. NorthStar is positioned to be the first commercial-scale producer of Ac-225 for advancing clinical research and commercial radiopharmaceutical products. NorthStar will use its electron accelerator technology to produce n.c.a. Ac-225 that is free of long-lived radioactive contaminants and byproducts associated with other production methods, which pose regulatory and waste management challenges for hospitals and health systems.
“NorthStar is applying the same development expertise to rapidly advance large-scale production of n.c.a. Ac-225 that has positioned us at the forefront of U.S. radioisotope production as the only commercialized producer of the important medical radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99),” said Stephen Merrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. “Like all NorthStar processes, our n.c.a. Ac-225 production technology is environmentally sustainable and non-uranium based, utilizing state-of-the-art electron beam accelerator production that provides increased capacity and scheduling flexibility. Facility design is complete and we expect construction to be underway soon on our dedicated Actinium-225 Production facility, with initial production of radiochemical grade Ac-225 planned for late 2023, and a Drug Master File to be submitted to the FDA in 2024, which, upon acceptance by the FDA, will allow NorthStar to provide cGMP grade Ac-225. We are very pleased to enter this Ac-225 supply agreement with Convergent Therapeutics, and we look forward to working with them moving forward. Our companies share a vision of developing and delivering innovative technology to drive research and ensure clinical availability of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapies for patients with cancer.”
“Convergent has demonstrated that dual targeting of surface cancer molecules, like prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), improves antitumor efficacy and may represent a truly disruptive and advantageous therapeutic option to treat prostate cancer,” said Philip Kantoff, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Convergent Therapeutics. “Our lead candidate, CONV01-α, is a monoclonal antibody radiolabeled with Ac-225, and is specifically designed to bind to PSMA, which is highly expressed in most prostate cancer. Once bound, CONV01-α becomes internalized, enabling delivery of supra-additive therapeutic doses of radiation directly into prostate cancer cells. The power of labeling CONV01-α with an alpha-emitting radioisotope such as Ac-225 is in its ability to maximize antitumor impact while minimizing radiation to adjacent tissue. NorthStar is our ideal partner for Ac-225 supply based on their leadership experience and commercial expertise in cutting-edge, accelerator-based radioisotope production technology. We look forward to working with NorthStar to supply Ac-225 for our clinical studies and future commercialization needs as we seek to deliver highly transformative treatments for patients with prostate and other cancers.”