Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (AMIC), a manufacturer and distributer of medical isotopes, has entered into an agreement for the development of a compact device to produce radioisotopes with the University of Missouri (MU).
MU holds intellectual property for a system than can generate clinically relevant quantities of radioisotopes (including Mo-99), which can be done in a sub-critical system (technically and legally not a nuclear reactor) with an infrastructure footprint similar to a commercial cyclotron facility.
The partnership between MU and AMIC allows for a staged development of such a system to produce medical, research and industrial isotopes, according to the Kennewick, Wash.-based company.
MU currently holds intellectual property for a device that generates neutrons in a tank filled with heavy water and fissile uranium material. Current simple models indicate that at least 500 curies (Ci) of Mo-99 would be available from such a system after a one week period of operation, and the potential exists for even higher production levels, AMIC said.
According to projections by the National Academy of Sciences, the United States requires at least 5,000 Ci of Mo-99 each week to meet current demands and demand is expected to grow at a minimum of 5 to 10 percent in the coming years, AMIC said. The active ingredient in the vast bulk of U.S. radiopharmaceuticals is Tc-99m, a short-lived isotope derived from Mo-99.