NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, a global innovator in the development, production and commercialization of radiopharmaceuticals used for medical imaging and therapeutic applications, announced that it has achieved a major milestone in its efforts to expand U.S. production capacity for the important medical radioisotope, molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). The Company has received two custom-built IBA Rhodotron®TT 300-HE (High Energy) electron beam accelerators at its facility in Beloit, Wisconsin. The accelerators are critical components in a first-of-its-kind commercial-scale process to produce Mo-99, the parent radioisotope of technetium-99m, the most widely used medical imaging radioisotope, informing healthcare decisions for approximately 40,000 U.S. patients daily.
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is the sole commercial U.S. producer of the important medical radioisotope Mo-99 and the only company in the world to use environmentally friendly Mo-99 production processes that are non-uranium based. For over two years, NorthStar has provided the United States with reliable Mo-99 supply, which is used in its RadioGenix® System (technetium Tc 99m generator) to produce Tc-99m. NorthStar is aggressively expanding and establishing dual production and processing hubs for additional Mo-99 capacity to better meet customer demand and to ensure reliable, sustainable U.S. supply. Two facility expansion projects are nearing completion in Beloit, Wisconsin, to augment current Mo-99 production and processing in Columbia, Missouri, conducted in partnership with the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR®). NorthStar’s Isotope Processing facility in Beloit will enable it to more than double its current Mo-99 processing and is nearing completion, with FDA approval anticipated in 2022. The Company’s Accelerator Production facility in Beloit will add significant Mo-99 capacity, enable flexible production scheduling and minimize customer supply risks.
“Delivery of these electron beam accelerators to advance Mo-99 production marks a tremendous milestone event for NorthStar, nuclear medicine and the patients who rely on diagnostic imaging studies for their health,” said Stephen Merrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. “Using electron beam accelerators is one of the most efficient methods of producing Mo-99, and like other NorthStar processes, it is non-uranium based and environmentally friendly. This production method will increase capacity, provide additional production days, and minimize supply risks. Additionally, electron beam accelerators can be used to produce therapeutic radioisotopes such as actinium-225 and copper-67. We anticipate that testing of these accelerators will begin this year, with commercial accelerator production commencing in 2023, pending appropriate licensure and FDA approval.”
Mr. Merrick continued, “We are extremely grateful to all our partners and stakeholders for their support in achieving this milestone: the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and National Laboratories, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, our private commercial investors, NorthStar’s dedicated and talented employees, our supply chain partners, and our customers. We would like to recognize the support that our partners at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR®), with whom we jointly produce Mo-99 in Columbia, Missouri, continue to provide to NorthStar.”
Mr. Merrick also added, “IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), a leading global supplier of accelerators that is focused on bringing integrated and innovative solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, continues to be a tremendous collaborator in this effort, and we look forward to additional projects with them in the United States and globally. We are also proud to help showcase Wisconsin as a pioneer and leader in technology innovation and sustainable radioisotope production. Our expansion activities are supported by Corporate Contractors Incorporated (CCI), the lead contractor, Springs ATG (Advanced Technology Group) and Von Gahlen, a leading global supplier of state-of-the-art shielding solutions for nuclear medicine and radiopharmacy.”
“This is a very exciting time for NorthStar and those involved in nuclear medicine. We all share a vision to accelerate the future of patient health by providing innovative solutions to ensure reliable access to radioisotopes that can make a positive difference in healthcare for people around the world,” he concluded.
In conjunction with the delivery, NorthStar hosted, “From Belgium to Beloit, Wisconsin” on April 20, 2021, an event recognizing the significance of the occasion. Speakers included Stephen Merrick, President and Chief Executive Officer, and James Harvey, Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer, as well as Diane Hendricks, Chairperson of the NorthStar Board of Managers. They highlighted NorthStar’s progress in delivering innovative technology to better patient health, its future plans, the increasingly important role of accelerators in radioisotope production and the Company’s commitment to nuclear medicine. The presenters showcased the state of Wisconsin as a pioneering leader in technology innovation and sustainable radioisotope production. In addition to expressing appreciation to NorthStar’s government and corporate partners, local contractors for the Accelerator Production facility were also recognized.