News | Nuclear Imaging | March 08, 2021

IBA and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes Expand Collaboration to Enable Global Availability of Tc-99m

Collaboration enables integrating technology expertise to provide Tc-99m Generation Systems (TCM Generation Systems) that utilize non-uranium based Mo-99 produced using electron beam accelerators

Diagnostic imaging studies using Tc-99m inform healthcare decisions for approximately 30 million patients annually around the world

March 8, 2021 — IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT) and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, announced a collaboration to increase global availability of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used medical radioisotope. The collaboration enables companies outside of the United States to access the Tc-99m Generation Systems (TCM Generation Systems) that utilize NorthStar’s proprietary non-uranium based Mo-99 produced using IBA’s accelerators and beamlines.

The collaboration builds on an existing contract under which IBA is providing NorthStar with up to eight Rhodotron TT 300-HE electron beam accelerators. They will be used for the production of non-uranium based Mo-99, which enables NorthStar’s FDA-approved and commercially available RadioGenix® System (technetium Tc 99m generator) to produce Tc-99m in the United States. NorthStar’s Accelerator Production facility expansion is nearing completion in Beloit, Wisconsin, with the first pair of IBA accelerators due to arrive from Belgium in early April 2021. 

“Every year approximately 30 million patients benefit from diagnostic imaging studies using Tc-99m,” said Stephen Merrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthStar. “NorthStar is delighted to expand its collaboration with IBA, as we view them to be an ideal partner to grow the use of non-uranium based Mo-99 to support a sustainable and innovative future for nuclear medicine. Based on their commercial expertise and tailored approach, we believe IBA complements NorthStar’s global vision of delivering innovative solutions that can address critical patient healthcare needs related to medical diagnosis. We are proud to lead the field of nuclear medicine as the only commercialized producer of Mo-99 in the United States, having provided more than two years of stable U.S. commercial production to date. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with IBA and are confident that this joint approach has the potential to make non-uranium Mo-99 the leading worldwide source of Tc-99m.”

Olivier Legrain, Chief Executive Officer of IBA, commented, “We are pleased to enter into this expanded collaboration for TCM Generation Systems with NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes to enable more companies to access this vital healthcare diagnostic tool. IBA’s Rhodotron® accelerators provide the most advanced accelerator technology in the world, and we look forward to working with NorthStar in applying innovative solutions to enable reliable radioisotope supply on a global basis and exploring additional productive opportunities in the future.”

NorthStar’s Accelerator Production facility expansion in Beloit, Wisconsin, will ensure sustainable domestic Mo-99 supply for the United States through dual production and processing hubs for additional capacity and scheduling flexibility. Pending appropriate licensure and approval, the facility will augment current Mo-99 processing in Columbia, Missouri, conducted in partnership with the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR).

For more information: www.iba-worldwide.com

Related Tc-99m Content: 

How Nuclear Fusion is Revolutionizing Medical Isotope Production

FDA Approves Additional Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) Filling Lines at NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes

Medical Isotope Industry Opposes Export of Highly Enriched Uranium for IRE

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