NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, a company specializing in the development, production and commercialization of radiopharmaceuticals used for therapeutic applications and medical imaging, today announced it has achieved a major milestone in advancing its new technology for non-uranium based production of the critical medical radioisotope, molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
NorthStar’s proprietary electron accelerator technology has successfully produced Mo-99 at its recently completed Accelerator Production facility on its Beloit, Wis. campus. The “two beams on target” accelerator approach is highly efficient, with the potential to nearly double NorthStar’s commercial-scale Mo-99 capability with a single target set, and augments NorthStar’s ongoing domestic Mo-99 production in collaboration with the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Like all NorthStar processes, it uses non-uranium based technology that is independent of reliance on overseas nuclear reactors.
NorthStar’s technology produces far less radioactive waste than uranium-based Mo-99 production processes, which makes the NorthStar process more environmentally friendly. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) provided financial and technical support for the project as part of its program to increase U.S. production of the vital medical radioisotope Mo-99 without the use of highly enriched uranium, which is a proliferation-sensitive material. Mo-99 is the parent radioisotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used diagnostic imaging radioisotope, used to inform healthcare decisions for over 40,000 U.S. patients daily.