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

A multidisciplinary team of researchers have demonstrated production, purification, and potential for the 134Ce/134La in vivo generator as a PET imaging surrogate for 225Ac and 227Th radiotherapeutic agents.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers have demonstrated production, purification, and potential for the 134Ce/134La in vivo generator as a PET imaging surrogate for 225Ac and 227Th radiotherapeutic agents.

News | Nuclear Imaging | December 22, 2020
December 22, 2020 — Researchers in the DO...
SHINE executives and project leaders were joined by a City of Janesville official for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new corporate headquarters and therapeutics production facility on the SHINE campus in Janesville, Wis. (Photo: Business Wire)

SHINE executives and project leaders were joined by a City of Janesville official for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new corporate headquarters and therapeutics production facility on the SHINE campus in Janesville, Wis. (Photo: Business Wire)

News | Nuclear Imaging | December 18, 2020
December 18, 2020 — SHINE Medical Technologies LLC today announced that the company has broken ground on a new 54,000

JNM celebrates 60 years of nuclear medicine research. Image courtesy of Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

News | Nuclear Imaging | December 14, 2020
December 14, 2020 — The Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Videos | PET-CT | December 04, 2020
This is an example of Canon's...
Shine Test System paired with the world’s strongest commercial fusion neutron generator manufactured by Phoenix. It can break apart low-enriched uranium to produce moly-99 for medical isotope production.

Shine Test System paired with the world’s strongest commercial fusion neutron generator manufactured by Phoenix. It can break apart low-enriched uranium to produce moly-99 for medical isotope production.

Feature | Nuclear Imaging | November 12, 2020 | By Willow Ascenzo
Medical imaging procedures such as single-photon emission computed tomography (...
Treating lung cancer patients with proton therapy may help reduce the risk of radiation-induced heart diseases, suggests a new study from Penn Medicine. In a retrospective trial of more than 200 patients, mini-strokes were significantly less common among patients who underwent proton therapy versus conventional photon-based radiation therapy. Proton therapy patients also experienced fewer heart attacks.
News | Proton Therapy | October 25, 2020
October 25, 2020 — Treating lung cancer patients with prot...
Be sure to register for the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) 62nd Annual Meeting, to be held October 24-28, 2020, via an interactive virtual platform. The meeting, Global Oncology: Radiation Therapy in a Changing World, will feature reports from the latest clinical trials; panels on global oncology, health disparities and the novel coronavirus; and an immersive attendee experience in a virtual convention center.
News | ASTRO | October 23, 2020
October 23, 2020 — Be sure to ...