Molybdenum-99 is the most commonly used radioisotope on the planet. The tracer and its variants are used in imaging procedures to help diagnose heart disease and cancer in patients worldwide.
Traditionally, medical professionals have struggled with global shortages of Molybdenum-99.
Using state-of-the-art research from UW-Madison, Shine Medical Technologies in Monona, hopes to drive economic development, and revolutionize the production of tracers used in thousands of medical image procedures daily, by manufacturing Mo-99 right here.
“The U.S. is one of the biggest users of Mo-99 in the world, but we currently source all of our supply from foreign sources,” said Katrina Pitas, vice president of development for Shine.
The current production process is complicated and relies on aging facilities that utilize nuclear reactors and highly enriched uranium, she said.
The U.S. has implemented regulations that will require manufacturers to eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium in the Mo-99 manufacturing process by 2019.
In response, several plants, including two in Canada, have already made the decision to shut down.
Shine Technologies utilizes a proprietary procedure to manufacture Mo-99 using low-enriched uranium.
“Since our process was designed to use low-enriched uranium from the beginning, we don’t have the same inefficiencies as current facilities trying to make those changes now,” she said.
The process does not use a nuclear reactor, and does not create the nuclear waste byproduct currently seen in the existing process.
The company hopes to complete fundraising and start construction on a brand new manufacturing facility in Janesville before 2016