News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | April 13, 2017

University of Missouri Research Reactor Files to Start U.S. Production of Medical Isotopes

Facility expected to begin sending molybdenum-99 to partners in mid- to late 2018

University of Missouri Research Reactor Files to Start U.S. Production of Medical Isotopes

April 13, 2017 — The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) and its partners Nordion and General Atomics (GA), announced in March that MURR’s License Amendment Request (LAR) has been submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This marks a critical step towards implementing domestic U.S. production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Once operational, production from this facility will be capable of supporting nearly half of U.S. demand for Mo-99, which currently must be imported from outside North America.

A medical isotope is a safe radioactive substance used by health professionals to diagnose and treat patients who suffer from a variety of conditions, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Almost 50 million such procedures are performed every year. The most important isotope, technetium-99m (Tc-99m), is produced from Mo-99 and is used in more than 80 percent of all nuclear medicine procedures.

“This LAR submission shows the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that we will have all of the technology, expertise and safety measures needed to begin producing Mo-99 in place and ready to go once approval has been received,” said Ralph Butler, executive director of MURR. “As a public research institution, we are proud to play a partnership role with GA and Nordion in helping America secure a new, domestic source of Mo-99.”

Once approved by the NRC, MURR will begin producing Mo-99 using selective gaseous extraction (SGE), a proprietary technology developed by General Atomics to extract the isotope from Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) targets. This patented approach will produce Mo-99 of the highest specific activity, while avoiding the production of liquid uranium waste, a significant problem with existing technologies that require Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). Extracted Mo-99 will be transported to Nordion’s facility in Ottawa, Ontario, for final purification and distribution to radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, after which it will be distributed to hospitals and medical facilities around the world.

Nordion will start receiving Mo-99 from MURR in mid- to late 2018, according to Phil Larabie, vice president, medical isotopes for Nordion. In addition, Nordion is maintaining its conventional Mo-99 processing capacity through March 31, 2018, in the event of a significant global shortage of Mo-99.

The MURR project is being conducted with the active support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which was mandated to help secure a new, reliable domestic supply of Mo-99 by the American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012 (AMIPA). The approval of MURR’s LAR represents a major step toward achieving this goal.

For more information: www.murr.missouri.edu

Related Content

 Prostate cancer MRI
News | Clinical Trials | November 15, 2019
November 15, 2019 — Theragnostics, which is developing innovative radiopharm
Philips Medical System is recalling its older Forte Gamma Camera SPECT imaging systems due to the possibility of the detectors falling off of the unit onto the patient. The two gamma cameras can bee seen in this photo on either side of the patient bed. These can be rotated above the patient.

Philips Medical System is recalling its older Forte Gamma Camera SPECT imaging systems due to the possibility of the detectors falling off of the unit onto the patient. The two gamma cameras can be seen in this photo on either side of the patient bed. These can be rotated above the patient.

Feature | Nuclear Imaging | November 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor
November 5, 2019 — Philips Medical System is recalling the Forte Gamma Camera System due to the potential for the 660
 Phoenix’s fusion neutron generation technology.
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | October 28, 2019
October 28, 2019 — Phoenix LLC and Shine Medical Technologies LLC, nuclear technology companies focused on near-term
GE Healthcare and Theragnostics Partnering on PSMA PET/CT Imaging Agent
News | Prostate Cancer | October 16, 2019
GE Healthcare and Theragnostics have entered into a global commercial partnership for a new prostate-specific membrane...
ASNC Announces Multisocietal Cardiac Amyloidosis Imaging Consensus
News | Cardiac Imaging | September 09, 2019
September 9, 2019 — The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) published a new expert consensus document along
A 3-D printed tungsten pre-clinical X-ray system collimator. 3D printed, additive manufacturing for medical imaging.

A 3-D printed tungsten pre-clinical X-ray system collimator. The tungsten alloy powder is printed into the form desired and is laser fused so it can be machined and finished. Previously, making collimators from Tungsten was labor intensive because it required working with sheets of the metal to create the collimator matrix. 

Feature | Medical 3-D Printing | September 04, 2019 | By Steve Jeffery
In ...
A SPECT nuclear scan of the heart to show perfusion defects in the myocardium due to coronary artery blockages or heart attack. The imaging uses the Mo-99 based medical imaging isotope Tc-99m. The U.S. government has created policy to move away from use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) for Mo-99 isotope production, but there is one hold out who has not yet converted before a 2020 deadline. Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare.

A SPECT nuclear scan of the heart to show perfusion defects in the myocardium due to coronary artery blockages or heart attack. The imaging uses the Mo-99 based medical imaging isotope Tc-99m. The U.S. government has created policy to move away from use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) for Mo-99 isotope production, but there is one holdout who has not yet converted before a 2020 deadline. Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare.

Feature | Nuclear Imaging | August 30, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor
In a surprising move, the National Institute for Radioelements (IRE) has applied for a new license to export highly e
University of Alabama at Birmingham Leading Production of Theranostic Radioisotope

Image courtesy of the University of Alabama at Birmingham

News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | August 29, 2019
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Argonne...
United Imaging Announces First U.S. Clinical Installation of uExplorer Total-body PET/CT
News | PET-CT | August 15, 2019
United Imaging announced that its uExplorer total-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system...