SHINE Medical Technologies says it will produce 70% of the global patient need for molybdenum-99, a diagnostic isotope used in nuclear medicine.
The Janesville-based company is building a production facility for molybdenum-99 or moly-99 in Wisconsin, but SHINE now plans to construct a second facility in Europe, the company recently announced.
Between both facilities, SHINE will have the capacity to produce double the European patient need for moly-99, and 70% of the global patient need for this particular medical isotope by 2025, the company said in a press release.
SHINE will build its European facility in Veendam, a municipality within the Netherlands’ Groningen province. The facility will initially produce moly-99, which is used in diagnostic procedures to identify heart disease, cancer and other conditions.
The Netherlands facility will use nuclear technology for medical isotope production that does not require a reactor and is cleaner, safer and more sustainable than a nuclear research reactor, the company said.
SHINE's Netherlands facility will start producing its medical isotopes commercially in 2025. The facility will employ 200 workers once fully operational.
“The selection of the location for our new European facility is another demonstration of SHINE’s commitment to being the world leader in the production of vital medical isotopes,” SHINE chairman and CEO Greg Piefer said in a statement.
In addition to moly-99, SHINE’s technology can be used to produce a myriad of isotopes used in nuclear medicine. One of its U.S. facilities already produces Lutetium-177 or Lu-177, a medical isotope used in cancer treatment.
SHINE says they’re already seeing strong demand for Lu-177 from clinical trial sponsors because of its potential to revolutionize the treatment of cancer patients. The Netherlands facility will eventually produce a broad range of medical isotopes, SHINE's vice president of European operations Harrie Buurlage said in a statement.
Earlier this year, SHINE finished exterior construction of its 46,000 square-foot medical isotope production facility in Janesville. The facility is located on 91 acres near the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.
With a weathertight structure, SHINE has begun moving its equipment into the facility with plans to start producing moly-99 in late 2022. SHINE says its facility was built to withstand tornados, airplane crashes and other catastrophic events, according to a press release.
“Progress on our U.S. facility continues and our experience with that project will be important during our work on the new facility in Veendam,” Piefer said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Illuminated Holdings, Inc., SHINE’s parent company, raised more than $131 million. The fundraise followed a merger between the nuclear technology company and Fitchburg-based Phoenix LLC, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of SHINE.
SHINE was founded in 2010 to manufacture radioisotopes for nuclear medicine while Phoenix designs and manufactures steady-state neutron generators used for advanced industrial imaging and other applications in the aerospace, defense, medical and energy sectors.
Piefer founded Phoenix in 2005 to develop and commercialize a unique technology that generates neutrons through fusion. Piefer also founded SHINE and spun the company out of Phoenix to apply that technology to medical isotope production.