NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, a company involved in the production and distribution of radioisotopes used for medical imaging, today announced that it received an Award for Outstanding Achievement from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The award recognizes NorthStar for being the first producer of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) in the United States in nearly 30 years. It was presented on behalf of NNSA by Peter H. Hanlon, Assistant Deputy Administrator, Office of Material Management and Minimization, at NNSA’s 2018 Annual Mo-99 Topical Meeting held in Knoxville, Tenn., September 23-26, 2018. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2018, NorthStar’s RadioGenix® System is an innovative, high tech radioisotope separation platform indicated for use in producing the widely used medical radioisotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m) from non-uranium based molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
NorthStar participated in several key sessions at the meeting. The Opening Plenary Session, “Supporting a Reliable, Non-HEU Mo-99 Supply,” featured a presentation by James Harvey, PhD, SVP and Chief Science Officer of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, who spoke about “Lessons Learned: Path to Approval.” Dr. Harvey later presented an update on domestic production of Mo-99 via neutron capture in a session devoted to Mo-99 production projects and technologies.
“We are pleased to recognize NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes’ outstanding achievement for being the first producer of Mo-99 in the United States in nearly 30 years,” said Peter H. Hanlon, Assistant Deputy Administrator, Office of Material Management and Minimization, NNSA, while presenting the Award for Outstanding Achievement at NNSA’s 2018 Annual Topical Meeting. “NorthStar’s success directly supports the National Nuclear Security Administration’s goal to reduce the use of highly enriched uranium in civilian commercial applications. NorthStar’s efforts have resulted in a safer world while contributing to a stable supply of this crucial medical radioisotope for American patients.”
“NNSA has partnered with NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes for seven years to develop the RadioGenix System and modernize the neutron capture process for the production Mo-99 without the use of uranium,” said George Messina, Chairman Emeritus of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. “It’s gratifying that our efforts became realized through the FDA’s approval of the RadioGenix System. NNSA’s close collaboration, outstanding working relationship and support of NorthStar have been instrumental in achieving this success.”
“In addition to sincere appreciation for the support and efforts of NNSA, I would like to recognize and thank our partners at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR®) for their important contribution to the success of this project,” said Stephen Merrick, President and CEO of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. “As a result of this highly successful collaboration between government, academia and industry, NorthStar has reached a transformative inflection point in our mission to provide a reliable supply of Mo-99 produced without uranium to meet U.S. healthcare needs and strengthen national security. The commercial launch of the RadioGenix System is well underway, and we are ramping up expansion activities to further increase production capacity for domestically-produced Mo-99.”
The Mo-99 Topical Meeting is intended to serve as a workshop where international and domestic policy and technical experts can gather to present and discuss progress toward achieving the production of Mo-99 without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in support of nonproliferation objectives and global reliability of supply.
Partial funding for NorthStar’s technology was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Under provisions of the American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012, efforts have been made to establish domestic production of Mo-99 and to promote the use of Mo-99 produced without reliance on highly enriched uranium, which is a nuclear proliferation risk. NorthStar’s technology uses stable isotopes of molybdenum, rather than enriched uranium, thereby avoiding the national security and environmental risks associated with enriched uranium.