News | November 08, 2013
Cyclone 70 to stabilize U.S. supply of strontium 82/rubidium 82 generators for use in diagnosis of cardiovascular disease
November 8, 2013 — Zevacor Molecular, a healthcare firm that manufactures and distributes positron emissions tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) radiopharmaceuticals, has purchased the first 70 MeV Cyclotron dedicated to medical use in the United States from Ion Beam Applications, S.A. (IBA).
The purchase of IBA’s Cyclone 70 is the first of several investments Zevacor is making to secure the future of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. The 70 MeV Cyclotron is expected to be operational in the fall of 2016 and will help to stabilize the domestic supply of medical isotopes needed to diagnose and treat critical illnesses.
Strontium 82 (Sr-82) has a half-life of about 25 days, allowing it to be easily shipped to imaging facilities for about a month of use. It is shipped as a generator unit to produce rubidium 82 (Rb-82) at the point of imaging, since Rb-82 has a half-life of only 75 seconds. The isotope is primarily used for nuclear myocardial perfusion exams.
In addition to the cyclotron, Zevacor will also invest in significant infrastructure to create a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to house the Cyclone 70 as well as other cyclotrons and manufacturing equipment. It expects to determine the location by the end of 2013.
“This is just the beginning,” said John Zehner, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Zevacor Molecular. “With strategic investments like the purchase of the Cyclone 70, Zevacor and our partners will help hospitals improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other critical illnesses. Our goal is to support the current needs of the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community and assist in the growth and development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.”
The main focus of the first 70 MeV Cyclotron will be to commercially manufacture Sr-82 to ensure ample, stable, U.S.-based supply of Sr-82/Rb-82 generators for use in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. This important radiotracer has no current commercial supplier and only has U.S. and foreign-based supply from national labs.
Although the primary focus is the manufacture of Sr-82, the Cyclone 70 is capable of producing a wide variety of other radionuclides for both research and clinical applications.