The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes a multimillion-dollar agreement to further bolster the domestic supply of molybdenum-99.
The department’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced the $37 million cooperative agreement Monday. NorthStar, headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, will split the funds between its neutron capture project and accelerator production program. Each supports non-uranium, environmentally friendly Mo-99 production.
“NorthStar deeply appreciates these new cooperative agreement awards and this financial and technical support provided by DOE/NNSA,” said Stephen Merrick, president and CEO of the radioisotope company. “We are working aggressively to ensure sustainable domestic Mo-99 supply through dual production and processing hubs for additional capacity and scheduling flexibility.”
The government organizations are providing $16.3 million for the neutron project and $20.7 million to build out accelerator capabilities. NorthStar, meanwhile, is required to come up with matching funds.
With this new award, NorthStar has received upward of $100 million in cooperative agreements from the DOE/NNSA.
Mo-99 is the parent radioisotope of technetium-99m, the most widely used medical imaging radioisotope that helps clinicians with 40,000 patients each day in the U.S.
Prior funding from the feds has helped NorthStar advance its flagship RadioGenix System and develop FDA-approved concentrated Mo-98. Together this has resulted in a fourfold increase in Mo-99 production capacity, the Wisconsin company noted.