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RLS Extends Offerings with Radiopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing (rCDMO) Services

Friday, October 27, 2023

RLS Radiopharmacies, the sole radiopharmacy network accredited by the Joint Commission in the United States, has unveiled plans to expand its business operations by offering radiopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing (rCDMO) services. This new service will cater to the increasing demand from both customers and the industry for regional manufacturing capacity, custom drug development, radioisotope production, and same-day delivery services. The expansion is aimed at reducing the risks associated with the growing radiopharmaceutical pipeline and ensuring consistent access to these life-saving drugs for healthcare professionals and their patients.

According to RLS CEO Stephen Belcher, there are currently more than 400 novel radiopharmaceuticals at various stages of FDA approval, which is promising news for patients with challenging-to-treat diseases and conditions. However, manufacturing and supply chain challenges have hindered their success. RLS aims to address these issues by offering regional development, manufacturing, and commercial distribution services to companies committed to ensuring patient access to their products.

For this initiative, RLS has allocated 80,000 square feet of space across eight of its 31 radiopharmacies. Under a distributed manufacturing model, RLS will become the first in the industry to provide rCDMO services across all regions in the United States. RLS's eight locations will be CGMP-ready by Q1 2024, equipped with highly skilled personnel and state-of-the-art equipment for radiopharmaceutical development, production, and manufacturing.

Pharmaceutical companies can benefit from outsourcing to RLS, as most lack the specialized facilities, equipment, expertise, or licenses required for full-scale production of radiolabeled medicines. Establishing these capabilities from scratch can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive. RLS offers innovative, turnkey solutions that are safe, reliable, and efficient, helping companies reduce costs, accelerate time-to-market, and mitigate risks.

RLS's COO, pointed out that another reason companies choose RLS is their specialization in delivering radiopharmaceuticals. Covering 80% of the U.S. population, RLS has its own courier services and a fleet of delivery vehicles, ensuring timely and reliable delivery of radiopharmaceuticals. They adhere to the industry's most stringent standards and often offer same-day commercial delivery.

Efficiency and safety in the supply chain are paramount for radiopharmaceutical production, particularly due to their time-sensitive nature. Radioactive materials are highly sensitive and begin to decay within a short time frame, leaving only a few days between manufacturing and injection. This poses a challenge for patients urgently in need of life-saving radiopharmaceuticals, as current supply chain constraints can result in waiting times of over a month for doses to be manufactured and delivered to hospitals. RLS's purpose-built production and distribution network aim to resolve this issue by ensuring seamless last-mile delivery of patient-specific doses on a time-sensitive basis.

Furthermore, RLS is actively forming partnerships to address the demand for medical isotopes like Actinium-225 (Ac-225) and Lutetium-177 (Lu 177), which are currently in limited supply. For more information about RLS, please visit RLS.Bio.



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