MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC has signed a non-exclusive letter of intent with Triad Isotopes Inc., marking a significant step toward achieving the U.S. Department of Energy’s mandate to establish the first commercially viable domestic source of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging.
Under the agreement, NorthStar will work with Triad Isotopes to bring non-uranium-based Mo-99 produced with its proprietary RadioGenix isotope separation system to market. Triad Isotopes, the second-largest radiopharmacy chain in the United States, will buy and lease the products once the technology has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is commercially available.
NorthStar, based in Madison, Wis., is developing a domestic source of Mo-99 produced without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to help alleviate chronic shortages of the vital medical isotope. This will help meet the goals of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites worldwide, and to minimize the use of HEU in civilian applications.
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is used in more than 13 million nuclear medicine procedures annually in the United States alone. Key applications include myocardial perfusion imaging (testing how well blood flows through the heart), sentinel node mapping (detecting whether breast cancer cells have spread to the sentinel lymph nodes), hepatobiliary imaging (evaluating the liver, gallbladder and ducts that are part of the biliary system), and inflammation and infection imaging.
Currently, almost all Mo-99 is produced using HEU at aging facilities located outside of the United States, leading to product shortages and creating safety and national security concerns. NorthStar has two methods of producing Non-HEU Mo-99, both of which produce only a benign waste stream. The Non-HEU Mo-99 produced by NorthStar is for use in the company’s Intelligent Isotope Separation System, the RadioGenix, the first true technological breakthrough in Mo-99/Tc-99m systems in nearly 45 years.
NorthStar President and Chief Executive Officer George P. Messina said, “Our goal since the inception of NorthStar has been to alleviate the chronic shortage of vital medical radioisotopes and, ultimately, improve patient care. This agreement with Triad Isotopes is validation of that effort. The team at Triad clearly understands the game-changing impact of our Non-HEU process and its benign waste stream on the market. They showed early interest in our products and technology and helped us refine and improve the system. We look forward to continuing our work with them as we navigate the approval process.”
Triad Isotopes operates 60 locations that provide customized unit dose service nationwide. It was the first radiopharmacy company to demonstrate interest in working with NorthStar to bring this opportunity to fruition. Triad Isotopes has made key staff members and facilities available for testing, review and assessment of early versions of the technology.
“Understanding the national security significance of this effort, Triad Isotopes has worked closely with NorthStar to help test and review its efforts,” said Kerry Gillespie, Triad Isotopes president. “We are optimistic about the potential of this new technology as a means to address the need to establish a domestic source of molybdenum-99 by 2016. NorthStar has been innovative and relentless in addressing that need.”
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC
Based in Madison, Wis., NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC (northstarnm.com) was founded in 2006 to address the needs of the nuclear medicine market in the United States. A wholly owned subsidiary of NorthStar Medical Technologies LLC, the company is committed to resolving industry-wide supply challenges that have caused shortages of vital medical isotopes, negatively impacting patient care and stalling clinical research. Its patented technologies include innovative non-uranium based molybdenum-99 production methods, a novel separation chemistry system and tools for the nuclear medicine market.
Triad Isotopes Inc.
Triad Isotopes Inc. (TriadIsotopes.com) is a nationwide nuclear pharmacy company headquartered in Orlando, Fla. The company’s national network of more than 60 locations serves 4 million patients each year, making Triad Isotopes the nation’s second-largest and fastest-growing radiopharmaceutical provider. Triad’s network of specialized facilities provide the products used by hospitals and nuclear medicine operators to help diagnose and treat patients, primarily those with cardiac and cancer concerns.