20 July 2017

Full Speed Ahead!

We know that “Mo-99 Matters” because people around the world, our customers, physicians, their patients, and our family members rely on its daughter product, Tc-99m, for the diagnosis treatment and prevention of illness and disease. This essential diagnostic imaging agent helps to save lives because it often identifies abnormalities very early in the progression of an illness or disease state when early treatment makes all the difference.
For 43 years, Nordion has been a reliable supplier of Mo-99—and a contributing member to the nuclear medicine industry as a whole.
From the inception of our project to deliver a new, reliable source of Mo-99 in support of the entire nuclear medicine community, to the present day, we have shared our progress along the way. We have done so through participation at industry events and one-on-one meetings with our customers.
Focusing in on Tc-99m generator manufacturers we understand that your customers are relying on you, the Tc-99m generator producers, and that you take your commitments seriously. We take our commitment seriously too. Our project is hitting its milestones and, at the most recent industry event, the 64th annual meeting of SNMMI in Denver, CO, which was attended by more than 5,000 attendees, we shared our progress on the program.
We participated on a panel alongside other Mo-99 producers as well as potential domestic
Mo-99 producers. Each of us was given an opportunity to share our story. Phil Larabie, Vice President, Medical Isotopes shared the following updates.
  • Partners: We continue to forge ahead with our world-class partners, General Atomics (GA) and University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Together, our proven expertise is well-matched. For example, GA, known for their target and reactor system design and manufacturing, will develop the low-enriched-uranium (LEU) pellets, the target assembly, and collection systems. MURR, a premium reactor operator for more than 35 years, that just this year received a new 20-year operating license from U.S. NRC, will irradiate LEU pellets and perform the first stage extraction of Mo-99, 52 weeks of the year. And Nordion will perform the final, purification process in our cGMP facility, and ship in the same containers, using the same dedicated logistics that we have used to supply you with Mo-99 in the past.
  • Technology: The selective gaseous extraction (SGE) technology is now proven.
  • Licensing: A Licence Amendment Request covering the target irradiations in the MURR reactor was submitted to the USNRC in May.
  • LEU: The LEU lease agreement is secured and first shipment received; test capsules are being irradiated in NRU.
  • LEU target manufacturing: LEU target manufacturing equipment is secured and the full-scale process is being developed.
  • Hot Cells: The MURR hot cells are designed and on order.
We are pleased with the progress we are making. There is every reason to believe that Nordion is in the sole position to be the first domestic Mo-99 supplier of Mo-99 that will work seamlessly in all existing Tc-99m generators. It’s clear to us that at the finish line, the nuclear medicine industry is going to be the winner with >3,000 6-day Curies of LEU Mo-99 supply and availability 52 weeks a year—from Nordion.
Hold onto your hats. It’s full speed ahead!
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