Funding supports Nordion's collaboration with General Atomics and the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center to produce a new, reliable source of medical isotopes
OTTAWA, Sept. 30, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Nordion, a standalone business within Sterigenics International, welcomes today's announcement by the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to award $9.7M in cooperative agreement funding to General Atomics to advance their work with Nordion and the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center (MURR®) to establish a new, reliable supply of medical isotopes using Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) which will serve patients in the United States and around the world.
"We are very pleased that our companies' shared commitment to producing a long-term commercial supply of medical isotopes has been recognized by the NNSA with the award of funding," said Tom Burnett, President of Medical Isotopes at Nordion. "We consider this a major milestone for us and our partners in our goal to facilitate good healthcare for future generations around the world."
Since February 2015, Nordion has been working with US-based General Atomics and MURR to develop a new source of medical isotopes using General Atomics' innovative Selective Gaseous Extraction (SGE) technology. The use of LEU targets in this process is consistent with NNSA's global non-proliferation efforts. With all program planning now complete and the project well underway, Nordion and its partners expect routine supply to begin towards the end of 2017.
A medical isotope is a safe radioactive substance used by health professionals to assist in the diagnosis of approximately 50 million patients in North America and around the world every year. The most important of these medical isotopes is technetium-99m (Tc-99m), derived from molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), used in more than 80 percent of all nuclear medicine procedures. Nordion's current supply of Mo-99 is from the National Research Universal reactor (NRU) at Chalk River, Ontario, operated by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). The NRU was originally scheduled to cease routine production of Mo-99 in November 2016. However, the Government of Canada announced recently that it will support the extension of the operations of the NRU until March 31, 2018 to help support global medical isotope demand in the unexpected circumstances of shortages during this time. The project between Nordion, GA and MURR using SGE technology is intended to replace NRU medical isotope supply.
For more information on General Atomics please visit: http://www.ga.com/
For more information on University of Missouri Research Reactor Center please visit: http://www.murr.missouri.edu/
About Nordion (Canada) Inc.
Nordion provides market-leading products used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of medical isotopes and gamma technologies that benefit the lives of millions of people around the world. Our products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion supplies products to approximately 500 customers across more than 40 countries around the globe, and is a standalone business within Sterigenics International LLC, the global leader in outsourced contract sterilization services, gamma technologies and medical isotopes. Find out more about Nordion at www.nordion.com and follow us at twitter.com/NordionInc.
SOURCE Nordion Inc.
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For further information: MEDIA: Shelley Maclean, (613) 592-3400 x 2414, Shelley.Maclean@nordion.com