Algeta has officially opened its US offices and facilities as the Norwegian firm gets ready to launch its eagerly-anticipated Bayer-partnered prostate cancer drug Alpharadin.

The Oslo-headquartered group has set up shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts to support Alpharadin, the first in a new class of 'alpha-pharmaceuticals' which is based on radium-223, a drug containing an alpha-particle emitting nuclide. The treatment, if approved, will be co-promoted in the USA in Bayer.

No regulatory filings have been submitted on either side of the Atlantic as yet but they are expected soon. Algeta will be presenting further data from the Phase III ALSYMPCA study of Alpharadin in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer at the ESMO Congress in Vienna at the end of the month.

Jeff Albers, president of Algeta US, said that opening the Cambridge centre "is an important step toward realising our vision for building a global oncology company commercialising innovation". He added that "we have brought on experienced sales, marketing and medical affairs executives to build our US commercial operation and plan to deliver a phased build-up of resources in anticipation of a US commercial launch".

Susan Windham-Bannister, who heads the agency charged with implementing the 10-year, $1 billion Massachusetts Life Sciences Centre initiative, said it had worked with the firm to encourage its decision to locate in the state. She added that “Algeta is focused on bringing novel targeted therapies to patients with cancer, and Massachusetts has an especially robust oncology community".

Dr Windham-Bannister concluded that the company’s presence "will further strengthen that community", saying that Algeta "will find the full array of resources and partners in Massachusetts that they need to thrive".