CORAL GABLES, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp., a medical isotope company, today announced that it has completed a transaction with the University of Florida Foundation for a 25-acre parcel of land on which a facility will be built to produce Molybdenum-99. Coquí Pharma will be the first U.S. commercial producer of the medical isotope. The land is located within Progress Corporate Park in Alachua County, Fla.
Medical isotopes are used in a variety of medical tests, including cancer screening. The most widely used medical isotope in the world is Technicium-99m (Tc-99m), which is derived from Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Tc-99m is used in approximately 50,000 medical diagnostic procedures per day in the U.S. Because of a very short life, the isotope needs to be used in patients quickly after it is created. A major challenge for the industry is that the isotope is not produced in the U.S., and when a production facility in Canada is closed-down in 2016, there will be no production facility from which to purchase Tc-99m in the western hemisphere. Existing international production sources tend to be older and often unreliable, potentially delaying life-saving diagnostics.
“We are truly honored with the faith the University of Florida Foundation and the University of Florida community as a whole has placed in Coquí Pharma by affording us the land to build this crucial facility,” said Carmen I. Bigles, President and CEO of Coquí Pharma. “This is the next major step towards making the production of this crucial isotope a reality.”
“The University of Florida Foundation is proud to be a partner in this exciting venture with Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals, a partnership that will provide opportunities for collaboration with UF engineering and medical researchers and bolster the development of high-paying jobs and infrastructure for a biotech research park in Alachua County,” said Tom Mitchell, vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs at the University of Florida.
Coquí Pharma has chosen INVAP, a globally recognized, Argentina-based firm to design and construct the facility. INVAP has a wealth of experience in this arena, having designed and constructed similar facilities around the world, including the OPAL research reactor in Australia, and the RA-3 in Argentina.
“Our goal is to help ensure reliable domestic production of these life-saving medical isotopes to the U.S.,” concludes Bigles. “And the University of Florida Foundation is helping make that a reality.”
About Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp
Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp. is a medical isotope company, dedicated to the production of Molybdenum-99, which is used in 20 million procedures each year in the U.S. The Puerto Rican company is based in Coral Gables with the mission to bring the foremost medical isotope production facility in the Western Hemisphere to Alachua, Florida, and to create a commercially scalable, reliable supply of medical diagnostic and therapeutic radioisotopes in the U.S. For more information on Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals, visit www.coquipharma.com.