Actinium is a chemical element with symbol Ac and atomic number 89. The name Actinium is derived from the Greek aktinos that can be translated as beam or ray. Actinium-225 is an isotope of Actinium and is used in nuclear medicine for tumor treatment. It can be used to produce Bismuth-213 in a generator or used as an agent for radiation therapy, in particular for Targeted Alpha Therapy. Actinium-225 itself and its decay products emit Alpha particles which can destroy cancer cells in the body.
Despite enormous demand for Actinium-225, it is exceptionally rare because current production technologies (see below) are extremely costly and the production yield is very limited. Increasing the readily available and predictable supply of Actinium-225 represents a substantial opportunity for further necessary clinical developments of Alpha-isotope-based targeted therapies. The demand for clinical research alone is currently estimated at 50.000 millicuries (mCi) per year. However, today’s worldwide supply is no more than 4.900 mCi per year. Not even 10% of the estimated global demand is currently being fulfilled.
Increasing the readily available and predictable supply of Actinium-225 represents a substantial opportunity for further necessary clinical developments of Alpha-isotope based targeted therapies. Worldwide, at least thirteen Alpha-Immuno based clinical development projects and an unknown number of clinical research initiatives are known to be held-up in coming to maturity due to the unavailability of sufficient quantities of Actinium-225.
World leading clinical researchers in the field of Radio-Immuno Therapy have strong belief in the impact and effectiveness of Actinium-225 as the foundation of new mainstream cancer therapies. In particular, they recognize that Actinium-225 and Bismuth-213 – the by-product of Actinium-225 – and their ability to destroy the DNA structure of cancerous cells is unparalleled.
It is of vital importance that current Alpha-immuno clinical research programs and clinical trials gain access to sufficient and predictable quantities of Actinium-225. To meet this current demand, AlfaRim is establishing the world's first industrial scale Actinium-225 and Bismuth-213 production and supply line.
Research using Actinium-225 is conducted in the field of:
α Acute Myeloid Leukemia
α Prostate Cancer
α Gastric Cancer
α Ovarian Cancer
α Pancreatic Cancer
α Hodgkin's Lymphoma
α Neuro Endocrine Tumors
α Bladder Cancer
α Brain Cancer
α Breast Cancer
α Bone marrow transplant
This process is not business viable for the production of cost-efficient and predictable supplies of Actinium-225 for clinical TAT studies, due to the ultra-high costs of producing uranium and plutonium in nuclear reactors and the by-production of nuclear waste and impact on the environment.
The first route is milking a Thorium-229 cow. Organically, Actinium-225 grows on a Thorium-229 source through its natural decay process, (via the decay of Ra-225). This Thorium-229 source can be milked from time to time (it needs time to grow before it can be milked). Two laboratories in the US and Russia (both government controlled) and a laboratory in Germany (EU controlled) are in possession of a Thorium-229 cow which steadily produce tiny amounts (approximately 100 millicuries per year) of Actinium-225. The amounts of Actinium-225 produced via this route are far from sufficient to supply the current clinical TAT studies.
The second route to producing Actinium-225 is through the spallation of Thorium-229 by bombarding Thorium-229 with protons in a High Energy Cyclotron (100MeV) or by irradiation of Thorium-229 in a Linear Reactor. Although in theory it's possible to produce large quantities of Actinium, the drawbacks are that the process is extremely expensive (a linear reactor easily cost 1 billion euros to build) and that a lot of radio-active by-products are formed in the production process, making this approach unviable for the application in mainstream therapies.
Globally recognized “Father of Actinium” Dr. Ir. Maurits Geerlings of AlfaRim, has developed, successfully clinically tested and patented a method of bombarding Radium-226 with protons in a Medium Energy Cyclotron to produce high quantities of Actinium-225 at significantly lower costs. AlfaRim has secured its own Ra-226 stock and has access to a proprietary Medium Energy Cyclotron.
AlfaRim will be able to produce and supply large quantities of Actinium-225 (10.000 -20.000 mCi per year) in predictable volumes at predictable moments in time. Thereby, AlfaRim will produce 20-40% of current global estimated demand and 2 to 4 times current global production (based one production site).
AlfaRim Medical Holding BV is a Dutch privately-owned limited company originally founded by globally recognized "Father of Actinium" Dr. Ir. Maurits Geerlings. Learn more about what drives us and meet our team. Read more
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