September 30, 2014 — Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp. is working to become the first commercial producer of lifesaving medical isotopes in the United States. In 2012, Congress passed legislation that was signed by President Obama making it a national priority to produce Molybdenum-99, an isotope necessary to detect a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“Among the aspiring medical isotope production companies planning to build facilities in the United States, Coquí Pharma is the only one using a design and production method already demonstrated throughout the world as safe, efficient and reliable,” stated Carmen Bigles, CEO of Coquí. Coquí Pharma recently announced their plans to construct the medical isotope production facility at the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator in Progress Corporate Park, Alachua, Florida, near Gainesville.
Specifically, the facility will be producing Molybdenum-99, the parent isotope of Technetium-99, the isotope used in 80 percent of nuclear medicine procedures. Once operational, Coquí Pharma will be capable of supplying a large portion of the U.S. market and, ultimately, the international market as well.
“These isotopes are critical to the diagnosis and treatment of several diseases, and we believe that now is the time for someone to step up and provide new leadership in this highly important industry,” Bigles remarked.
International production sources tend to be older and frequently unreliable, which can delay delivery of potentially life-saving medical diagnostics and treatments to patients. International facilities also tend to use highly enriched uranium, which can raise nuclear proliferation concerns. Coquí has selected INVAP, an internationally-recognized Argentinian firm, to design and construct the proposed facility. INVAP has designed and constructed a number of similar facilities around the world, including the OPAL research reactor in Australia, the RA-3 in Argentina, and other facilities that are successfully producing Mo-99 with low enriched uranium.
Read the 2017 article "FDA Clears Path for First Domestic Supply of Tc-99m Isotope."
For more information: www.coquipharma.com