Cardinal Health to open 3 PET radiopharmaceutical manufacturing sites
Cardinal Health will open three additional PET radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities near its existing nuclear pharmacy locations this year, which the company announced at the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s (SNM) meeting held in New Orleans, June 14–18.

The manufacturing facilities use cyclotrons to produce fluorine-18 (F-18), the radioactive precursor needed to create fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), the PET imaging agent commonly used to diagnose various diseases. FDG’s relatively short half-life of just under two hours makes it challenging to efficiently distribute the product over great distances, the company said.

By locating cyclotrons near its nuclear pharmacy sites, the Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal said it is able to efficiently distribute FDG to a greater number of hospitals, clinics and research facilities using its comprehensive fleet and logistics capabilities.

In 2008, Cardinal will open three new cyclotrons located in Tampa, Fla., Hartford, Conn., and Louisville, Ky.

The company currently operates 22 cyclotrons and distributes PET products through nearly half of its more than 150 U.S. nuclear pharmacy locations.

In addition to FDG, the company said its new cyclotrons will produce a variety of other PET imaging agents to support oncology, neurology and cardiac imaging procedures.