Poland's reactor to supply Mo-99 to Covidien

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Covidien and the Institute of Atomic Energy in Poland have agreed to augment the global supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) by adding the Poland’s Maria Research Reactor to the company's supply chain.

The reactor, located approximately 30 km southeast of Warsaw, first operated from 1975 until 1985 when it was taken off line for a complete redesign and resumed normal operations in 1993. Maria is considered to be a relatively new reactor, with an operating life extending beyond 2020, said Covidien.

Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) derived from the Mo-99 produced in Poland should be commercially available to help meet European needs within 30 days. Approval from the FDA is pending for use in the U.S. and from Health Canada for use in Canada.

“It is the first time in decades that a new reactor has been brought into the global supply chain for medical isotopes,” said Timothy R. Wright, president of pharmaceuticals at Covidien. 

The remaining operating reactors supplying Covidien are the BR2 reactor in Belgium, the Osiris reactor in France and the Safari reactor in South Africa.