Novartis RLT manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, Indiana
Industry-leading innovation
FDA approves Novartis state-of-the-art RLT manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, Indiana
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Our mission has always been about time: the time patients may get back when medicines have the potential to extend lives, the race against time to treat certain cancers and—with the development of radioligand therapy (RLT)—it’s now time to bring a different type of cancer treatment to patients who need it. From the moment the manufacturing process begins our teams are laser focused on manufacturing RLT like clockwork with the aim of making strides toward the future of treating advanced cancers.

RLT manufacturing operates on a timeline of just hours and days, starting with the short window we have at the facility to move from production through to shipping so that patients receive their medicine at the specified date and time. It’s an intricate process requiring not just precision but also urgency—to ensure these medicines reach the patients who need them before the radioactive material in the medicine decays.

The complexity of this process requires highly specialized associates racing against the clock every day as they seek to advance the Novartis mission of reimagining medicine for patients. And that complexity is why we’re taking you "Behind the Glass," where our team goes in protective equipment in recognition of the importance of sterility and safety at every turn, so you can see first-hand our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and witness the people, the purpose—and the potential—of our RLT portfolio.

Learn more about this intricate process—and what it means to the people at the heart of it.

Pioneers in RLT

The Novartis radioligand story is unique, but in keeping with our history. In medicine, Novartis and its predecessors have constantly sought ways to continuously improve human life, starting with an antiseptic and an early treatment for inflammatory arthritis in 1900—marking the beginning of more than a century of medical discovery and development.

Radioligand therapy is the next step in striving for new treatment options, and our investment reflects our commitment to the present—and the future—of the RLT platform. With a global footprint, legions of associates, and significant investment in RLT, we have a foundation powered by manufacturing excellence—and it’s a foundation upon which we’re going to continue to build.

From exploration to execution, we’ve taken learnings from our first three sites—Millburn, NJ, Ivrea, Italy, and Zaragoza, Spain—and we are expanding numerous aspects of our capabilities starting with our state-of-the-art facility in Indianapolis, IN. This large-scale facility is a physical embodiment of our long-term dedication to RLT innovation.

Associate in full personal protective equipment using specialized equipment
Using specialized equipment on the production line
Associate in full personal protective equipment conducting quality control testing for environmental monitoring
Conducting quality control for environmental monitoring

Built from the ground up for the sole purpose of manufacturing RLTs, we have intentionally created space to allow for not just more manufacturing lines but, eventually, fully automated lines. This is an innovation Novartis helped design—to take larger scale RLT production from a possibility into a reality. With two RLTs already available to patients around the world, numerous RLTs in our pipeline and 15+ clinical trials underway or planned, we’re continuously building to expand our ability to deliver for patients not just today—but into the future.

When you think about radioligand therapies, you need to think about supply. You need to have rapid delivery of product to patients. One of the reasons we chose this location in the Midwest is because we're about 12 hours’ driving distance from almost 50% of the population in the United States.

Sergio, Global Head, RLT Operations

From plant to patient

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Radioligand therapies are manufactured at a Novartis facility
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Once produced, the medicines start their journey across the country, with ∼50% of America within a 12-hour radius of our Indianapolis facility
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If necessary, the medicines can be transported by airplane - our Indianapolis facility is under 10 minutes from Indianapolis Airport
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The medicines reach the patient's care team and are administered

A never-ending race to advance—built on the experience of leading the field

With RLT, the clock isn’t just ticking once the production starts—Novartis is also racing toward a future where RLTs are delivered to more patients who need them.

Every step we’ve taken reflects a deep commitment to delivering a transparent RLT prescriber and patient experience. Beyond our manufacturing facilities, we’ve expanded and regionalized our customer support team while equipping them with new technology that allows for real-time processing and tracking of orders. We are also offering customers the opportunity to receive real-time information on their delivery status. 

As we continue to reimagine medicine with our RLTs, we will keep building on what we’ve learned and collaborating with patient advocacy groups, healthcare provider organizations, and medical experts—working to ensure every person who needs these life-extending treatments receives them at the speed they need them.

Teams across 4 sites, 3 countries and 2 continents dedicated to:

Developing and manufacturing RLT therapies

for patients around the globe

Sharing knowledge, learnings and expertise

to make us better partners

Working around the clock to manufacture and deliver

therapies to patients

Each RLT dose is manufactured for a patient at a specific day and time. Novartis has the structures, systems, technology, and experience to both innovate and deliver with reliability and urgency. Patients are at the heart of all we do.

Martina, Global Head of Supply Chain

Last Updated January 2024
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