LYNCHBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:BWXT) (“BWXT” or the “Company”) announced today that it has developed an innovative and unique process to manufacture molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) that will enable a stable, North American supply of this critical diagnostic imaging radionuclide. The Mo-99 produced will be used in newly designed technetium-99m (Tc-99m) generators that are in commercial development at BWXT.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates our Company’s ability to leverage a traditional competency – radiochemical manufacturing in this case – to pivot into an exciting and growing adjacent market with an immediate competitive advantage,” said Rex D. Geveden, BWXT’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This new capability will greatly increase the accessibility of vital medical diagnostic tools and satisfy important national security non-proliferation objectives.”
The heart of the new proprietary technology features a patent-pending neutron capture process developed by BWXT scientists and engineers. The process will use molybdenum rather than uranium targets, which will mitigate radioactive waste streams, eliminate nuclear proliferation concerns and lead to a significant reduction in production and waste costs.
Mo-99 is the parent radioisotope of Tc-99m, which is used globally in more than 30 million medical procedures every year. BWXT anticipates entering the roughly $400 million global Tc-99m segment through generator sales to radiopharmacies, with an initial focus on North America. The Company expects to submit its new line of Tc-99m generators for regulatory approval in 2019. Additionally, BWXT plans to introduce the Mo-99 product line by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals, and intends to apply its expertise to a variety of other medical and industrial isotopes.
This new medical isotope technology is expected to provide a reliable domestic supply of Mo-99 and Tc-99m for North America, which supports the U.S. Department of Energy / National Nuclear Security Administration’s initiative to derive Tc-99m from sources not requiring highly enriched uranium. The new BWXT generators will integrate naturally into the current radiopharmacy supply chain and provide the same concentration of Tc-99m that is currently available from generators that use fission-based Mo-99 made from uranium targets.
BWXT will webcast a discussion of today’s announcement along with its first quarter earnings at 9:00 a.m. today, May 7, 2018. President and Chief Executive Officer Rex Geveden and Chief Financial Officer David Black will be participating in the call. The listen-only audio of the conference call will be broadcast live via the internet at www.bwxt.com under the Investor Relations tab. The call-in portion of the call is reserved for investors; media are welcome to listen to the call and follow up with questions to the media contacts listed below.
Forward Looking Statements
BWXT cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements relating to management’s plans and expectations for the new medical isotope production technology, including its impact on accessibility and the Mo-99 market; expected integration of the Company’s Tc-99m generators into current radiopharmacy processes; our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the new medical isotope business; future revenues from the new medical isotope technology; and market demand for Mo-99 and Tc-99m generators. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, our ability to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals, licenses and permits in a timely manner or at all; the ability to consummate these proposed transactions; competition in an environment of rapid technological change; and the enforcement and protection of our intellectual property rights. If one or more of these risks or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expressed. For a more complete discussion of other risk factors that impact our business, financial condition and results of operations, see BWXT’s filings with Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. BWXT cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.
Headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:BWXT) is a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government; provides technical and management services to support the U.S. government in the operation of complex facilities and environmental remediation activities; and supplies precision manufactured components, services and fuel for the commercial nuclear power industry. With approximately 6,100 employees, BWXT has nine major operating sites in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, BWXT joint ventures provide management and operations at more than a dozen U.S. Department of Energy and two NASA facilities. Follow us on Twitter @BWXTech and learn more at www.bwxt.com.