Novartis Halts Cancer Radiotherapy Output Due To Quality

Novartis has halted production of its two commercial radioligand treatments for cancer care just weeks after the FDA approved them.

Novartis confirmed on May 5th that production of Lutathera, a neuroendocrine tumour medication, and Pluvicto, a newly approved prostate cancer drug, has indeed been temporarily suspended at its plants in Ivrea, Italy, and also Millburn, New Jersey.

The drastic move is being taken as an extra precaution as a consequence of potential quality concerns detected in its manufacturing steps, according to the business. A Novartis spokeswoman declined to share any additional information on the problem. Due to an unexpected manufacturing error, Novartis has suspended shipping of Lutathera and Pluvicto to consumers in the United States and Canada. Pluvicto obtained FDA approval for recently managed, PSMA-positive, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer just six weeks ago, so the supply stoppage is shocking.

Pluvicto clinical trials have ceased worldwide, as have Lutathera’s clinical trials in the United States and Canada. There is now no indication that patients who got dosages already administered at such sites are at danger, as per Novartis. Nonetheless, company is requesting that designated radioligand therapy treatment centres keep monitoring patients who have recently been injected and disclose any adverse reactions.

Novartis has notified regulators and is undertaking an investigation. It intends to overcome the concerns and continue some deliveries in the next six weeks, as per the company’s schedule. In a statement, Novartis added that they know that this circumstance impacts patients, their families, including care teams.Novartis takes this incredibly seriously, and the company will do everything it can to correct the problem and get patient dosages back to normal as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, one Novartis radioligand therapy manufacturing location in Zaragoza, Spain, continues to produce Lutathera for Europe and Asia, albeit Novartis cautions about possible supply delays.

Both Lutathera and Pluvicto are radioligand therapeutics, which CEO Vas Narasimhan has identified as one of the Swiss pharma’s main technologically advanced platforms, alongside RNA medicines, cell and gene treatments, and other sophisticated technologies. Radioligand treatments, according to Novartis, integrate therapeutic radioactive isotopes with cell-targeting chemicals called ligands. The radioisotopes are created in dedicated nuclear reactors before being combined with the ligand in a manufacturing facility. The completed product is packed in lead-free containers and delivered to treatment facilities.

Novartis has made mistakes in the production of breakthrough therapies before. The business struggled to maintain the final product within commercial criteria during the early introduction of CAR-T cell therapy Kymriah in blood malignancies. Early physician trust in Kymriah was harmed in favour of Gilead Sciences’ competitor CAR-T therapy, Yescarta, due to that initial setback.