Janesville, Wisconsin-based SHINE Medical Technologies has announced an agreement with the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), gaining exclusive rights for an innovation to produce lutetium-177 (Lu-177).
The intellectual property license agreement provides SHINE a global, exclusive license for a method to separate rare earth elements. The company will use the technique to produce the cancer treatment isotope Lu-177, according to a news release.
“The Lu-177-based cancer therapeutics under development now show tremendous promise for doing a huge amount of good in the world,” said Greg Piefer, SHINE founder and CEO, in the release. “SHINE is committed to ensuring there is enough Lu-177 to meet demand as more and more patients benefit from these products.”
According to the release, the agreement comes one week after SHINE broke ground on its U.S. medical isotope production facility in Janesville. In addition to Lu-177, SHINE will produce Mo-99 at the facility and is also pursuing the ability to create its own ytterbium-176 starting material.
The Wisconsin-based company was one of four to receive up to $15 million in funding from the Department of Energy to produce domestic Mo-99 back in February.
“Separation of rare earth elements is notoriously difficult, particularly if they are radioactive and must be extremely pure. Our technology was developed specifically for this purpose and has a potential to improve speed and scale of Lu-177 production. As a scientist, I am thrilled that the years in the lab may bring a real-world application, especially if it helps cancer patients,” said Miloslav Polášek of IOCB Prague, in the same release.