Canada invests $48M in medical isotope solutions

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The Canadian government has included a $48 million investment in budget 2010 to support the research, development and demonstration of new technologies for the production of medical isotopes; establish a clinical trials network; and optimize the use of isotopes in the health system.

Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources released these initiatives in response to the recommendations of the expert review panel on medical isotope production.

While investing in medium- and long-term solutions, the government of Canada is continuing to take action to address short-term isotope supply issues and has asked Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to make return to service of the National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River, Ontario its top priority, and the federal budget has provided money for AECL’s ongoing operations including relicensing activities.

The Canadian government will invest $35 million in research, development and demonstration to encourage the commercialization of non-reactor-based technologies for the production of Tc-99m, including cyclotrons.

Also, the government will include $3 million for the development of tools, protocols and standards and $10 million to create a clinical trials network to help move research on isotopes into clinical practice.