Department of Energy awards cooperative agreements to 3 US companies for Mo-99 production

The Department of Energy (DOE)’s National Nuclear Security Administration has awarded cooperative agreements for the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) to three U.S. companies, including NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes.

“Mo-99 is a critical medical isotope that empowers us to fight back against heart disease and cancer,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE undersecretary for nuclear security and NNSA administrator, in a statement. “These agreements will facilitate its domestic production without highly enriched uranium, greatly reducing the potential for proliferation of nuclear materials.”

Each of the companies will receive $15 million in funding, and requires the awardees provide a $15 million match. The three companies to receive a cooperative agreement award are:

  • Niowave, Inc., in Lansing, Michigan
  • NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, in Beloit, Wisconsin
  • SHINE Medical Technologies, located in Janesville, Wisconsin

In a separate statement, NorthStar said it would use the funds to advance its neutron capture technology which allows for the production of non-uranium based Mo-99. It was also use the funds to continue developing its RadioGenix System.

“We greatly appreciate this new cooperative agreement award and the continued financial and technical support provided by DOE/NNSA, which will help NorthStar expand Mo-99 production capacity and efficiency, as well as support enhancements to the RadioGenix System to continue optimizing utility in radiopharmacies,” said Stephen Merrick, president and CEO of NorthStar, in a prepared statement. “Like DOE/NNSA, NorthStar shares a vision of protecting national security and the environment while providing the nuclear medicine community and the patients it serves with a reliable domestic supply of Mo-99 produced without highly enriched uranium.”

Northwest Medical Isotopes in Corvallis, Oregon is currently in negotiations with the DOD on securing its own cooperative agreement.