Longtime collaborators Phoenix Nuclear Labs and Shine Medical Technologies have entered into a supply and development agreement. Phoenix has agreed to provide neutron generators for use by Shine in its planned molybdenum-99 manufacturing facility. Shine will provide Phoenix support to improve its technology.
Technetium-99m prices are expected to rise in the coming years, according to Mallinckrodt. Rising molybdenum-99 production costs are to blame, including converting to use of low-enriched uranium, among other factors.
Shine Medical Technologies has signed a deal agreeing to supply GE Healthcare with the medical isotope molybdenum-99 once its manufacturing facility starts operation. A regulatory decision is pending for the Janesville, Wis., facility. It is expected to start operations by 2017.
The Senate has passed the American Medical Isotope Production Act, which will put in place a program for domestic production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 without the use of highly enriched uranium. The bill passed with unanimous consent, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign the final measure.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration has awarded NTP Radioisotopes, a unit of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, a contract worth $25 million for the production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 using low-enriched uranium. NTP Radioisotopes will be working with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in this initiative.