St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) June 28, 2017
Supplies of the critical medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) are secure and reliable according to a panel of leading experts gathered at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2017 annual meeting in Denver, Colorado in June. Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is used in 30 to 40 million nuclear medicine procedures worldwide every year. (1)
Sally Schwarz, President of SNMMI, and Professor of Radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, moderated the panel. The panel of top executives from Mo-99 producers addressed the specific steps that their companies are taking to ensure that the approximately 100,000 patients who rely on nuclear imaging testing worldwide each day will have access to the diagnostic care they need.
“It’s clear that the world’s Mo-99 producers have collaboratively used innovation, technology and careful planning to increase capacity and safeguard supplies of this critical medical isotope,” said Professor Schwarz.
Panelists included Jayne Senior, General Manager of ANSTO Nuclear Medicine; Frank de Lange, Vice President Manufacturing, Petten and Managing Director of Curium; Jean-Michel Vanderhofstadt, CEO of the Institute for Radio Elements (IRE); and Piet Louw, Executive Manager of NTP Radioisotopes.
Some of the strategies and investments being made to secure a stable and viable supply and market in the future included:
1. Increased Capacity. Current Mo-99 producers have made significant investments and improvements to increase manufacturing capacity for routine production as well as planned and unplanned outages. These actions ensure the security of supply to the global industry as it more than replaced the capacity lost when the NRU and OSIRIS research reactors ceased production of Mo-99.
2. Ongoing maintenance and investments. All reactors need routine maintenance and may occasionally experience unexpected shutdowns. Major producers contract for extra target irradiation positions with their reactor partners (known as Outage Reserve Capacity) to continue to provide supply during an unexpected shutdown. Adequate target irradiation space, whether it is used or not, is paid for by the producers.
3. Global cooperation. The Association of Imaging Producers and Equipment Suppliers (AIPES) coordinate the international scheduling of reactors that produce Mo-99 to help plan adequate target irradiation capacity and minimize supply risks. This group assembles multiple times each year and maintains ongoing, continuous communications outside of formal meetings to harmonize reactor scheduling. The major Mo-99 producers around the world participate in this initiative to plan for replacement of closed reactors and have coordinated actions to increase capacity to secure the reliable supply of Mo-99 and hence Tc-99M in the future.
“With these safeguards and investments in Mo-99 production, we look forward to offering the nuclear medicine community peace of mind and stability for the future,” concludes Professor Schwarz.
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Curium is a world-class nuclear medicine solutions provider with more than a century of industry experience. Formed by the merger of IBA Molecular and Mallinckrodt Nuclear Medicine LLC, Curium is the largest vertically integrated radiopharmaceutical product manufacturer in the industry.
With manufacturing facilities across Europe and the United States, Curium supports over 14 million patients around the word with SPECT, PET and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals to provide potentially life-saving diagnostic solutions. The Curium brand name is inspired by the work of radiation researchers Marie and Pierre Curie and emphasizes a focus on nuclear medicine. To learn more, visit curiumpharma.com.
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(1) HLG-MR;2016 Medical IsotopeSupply Review:99Mo/99mTc Market Demand and Production Capacity Projection 2016-2021