Lansing, MI, February 15, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Domestic production of key medical radioisotopes took another big step forward in Michigan. Lansing based Niowave, Inc. confirmed that it has begun producing several medical radioisotopes by fissioning low enriched uranium using a superconducting electron linear accelerator. The isotopes produced include Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), Iodine-131 (I-131), Xenon-133 (Xe-133) and Strontium-89 (Sr-89). These products were generated under a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging worldwide. I-131 is also used as an imaging agent and is effective in treating hyperthyroidism. Xe-133 is used extensively as an inhaled radiopharmaceutical agent for lung imaging. Sr-89 is used to help relieve bone pain that can occur with certain types of bone cancer. The worldwide radiopharmaceutical market is estimated to be $4 billion annually and grows as more radioisotopes are made available.
The United States does not currently have a domestic commercial supply of these key medical isotopes. Instead, the radiopharmaceutical industry must import from foreign producers, mainly in Europe, South Africa and Australia; or rely on the DOE national laboratories to supply small amounts of these isotopes. Because of the short half-life of these radioisotopes, it is impossible to stockpile these products. The lack of a consistent and inexpensive supply of these key radioisotopes has hindered promising new clinical trials. Niowaves’s new production capability is beginning to change the supply chain, and will enable further clinical breakthroughs for nuclear medicine. Niowave is scaling up production from this initial validation to full scale operations.
Founded in 2005 to commercialize superconducting accelerators, Niowave manufactures medical radioisotopes to cure cancer and save lives. Niowave is located in Michigan to benefit from the state’s highly skilled workforce. Advanced manufacturing expertise from the automotive and manufacturing industries combined with the scientific capability of Michigan’s premier research institutions has allowed Niowave to quickly grow into a worldwide leader in superconducting accelerator technology and its use for radioisotope production.