Novartis chooses Spain as a base to develop its nuclear medicine

The incipient arrival of nuclear medicine to address cancer will have a relevant role in Spain. the swiss pharmacist Novartis has chosen the country to launch the manufacture of both medicines and diagnostic methods to combat some tumors.

In December, the company obtained the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency to market Pluvicto, his latest ‘nuclear’ weapon against cancer. this therapy will have in Aragon one of the strategic points for world manufacturing. “Zaragoza will be one of the four plants in the world, along with Ivrea in Italy and Milburn, New Jersey, and Indianapolis in the US, in which Novartis will centralize the production of this new oncological treatment. In fact, Novartis has invested 1 .5 million euros in the expansion of the Almunia de Doña Godina (Zaragoza) plant, currently underway.This reform will multiply the production capacity by five, double the export capacity and will mean the creation of another 20 new jobs, that will be added to the 22 that already exist”, the company explains to this newspaper.

The European approval of the drug is not enough for Spanish patients (and from other European countries, with the exception of Germany) to receive the drug. For it, Novartis must get the Ministry of Health, through the Interministerial Price Commission, to finance the drug. “The treatment already has the approval and the national code by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products and we have started the process together with the Ministry of Health for the approval of public financing in Spain,” they respond from the Swiss company.

But the manufacture of this medicine will not be the only thing that Novartis does in Spain related to nuclear medicine. The company it has other factories in Murcia, Barcelona and Salamanca that will play a role in the development of this new way of fighting cancer diseases. “Diagnosis is essential for this therapy (Pluvicto) to be used and, for this reason, we are also expanding the production capacity of these tools in Spain with the Salamanca plant to improve the capacity for early diagnosis of prostate cancer. We will soon have a new product in production that will be key in this regard in Murcia, Barcelona and, later, in Salamanca,” they add. Therefore, there will be four points from which Spain will become an international reference for the development, manufacture and export of nuclear medicine.

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