Lantheus inks Mo-99 partnerships

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Lantheus Medical Imaging and two other medical isotope developers have agreed to work together to help ensure supplies of nuclear medicine using molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) sourced from low-enriched uranium (LEU).

Lantheus has extended its contract with NTP Radioisotopes, a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, to receive a supply of Mo-99 produced from LEU targets through Dec. 31, 2017.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, NTP and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) will become the largest suppliers of LEU Mo-99 to Lantheus.

The extended agreement also provides for a separate supply of Mo-99 from the Institute for Radioelements (IRE), giving Lantheus access to a supply of Mo-99 for the duration of the extended term. The ongoing supply relationships with NTP, ANSTO and IRE provide Lantheus with access to Mo-99 from three processing facilities and six research reactors in Africa, Australia and Europe. Additionally, Lantheus continues to receive Mo-99 from its Canadian supplier, under a recently extended agreement.

“A global milestone was achieved in June 2009 when the SAFARI-1 reactor started up its core without any highly-enriched uranium fuel,” said Phumzile Tshelane, CEO of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation and chairperson of the NTP Radioisotopes' board of directors. This marked the beginning of the LEU-based production process of Mo-99, which resulted in the delivery of the first commercial scale shipment of this product into the U.S. in July 2010.