Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis's subsidiary Advanced Accelerator Applications broke ground Monday on a new production facility in Indianapolis. The company plans for construction to be complete in 2023.
The 60,000 square foot space will be AAA’s second U.S. manufacturing site producing a drug that specifically targets and delivers radioactive particles to kill cancer cells leaving healthy cells alone. Company officials said the $72 million investment will produce up to 85,000 doses annually of the radioligand therapy.
Project site leader for the new location, Kevin Haehl, said the facility will be producing more than just a drug.
“We're going to be manufacturing hope, hope for those cancer patients, hope for a future where cancer becomes more and more a treatable disease,” said Haehl.
AAA U.S. General Manager Mike Rossi said it was important to have the company’s newest facility be able to distribute the drug quickly to patients.
“This location close to the Indianapolis International Airport and major ground distribution hubs allows us to manufacture, package, transport, and administer doses to patients anywhere in North America within 72 hours,” said Rossi.
Rossi said Purdue University is close by and is one of a few schools in the country that offers a nuclear pharmacy program – something the company needs in order to develop its workforce.
This investment follows Novartis's $2.1 billion acquisition of West Lafayette start-up Endocyte in 2018. Endocyte has been developing personalized cancer treatments for more than two decades.