Funds to Help Advance Development of Production Method for Medical Isotopes
Madison, Wisconsin - An acute shortage of a medical isotope needed by tens of thousands of medical patients daily will be addressed through a federal funding agreement reached Sept. 30 to advance pioneering technology developed at a Middleton, Wisconsin, company and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Organized by leaders of the Morgridge Institute for Research, the public-private partnership behind the project includes UW-Madison, the state of Wisconsin, Phoenix Nuclear Labs of Middleton and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Together, the group has been awarded a six-month, $500,000 cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to further technologies needed for domestic production of molybdenum-99.
The isotope produces technetium-99m, the most important radioisotope for detecting metastatic cancer and staging heart disease, studying brain and kidney function and creating images of stress fractures.
The cooperative agreement is part of an effort by the agency's Global Threat Reduction Initiative to develop a sustainable means of producing molybdenum-99 as part of a commercial supply network that avoids a single point of failure and does not use highly enriched uranium.
"This critical federal support will allow us to take the next step toward producing a reliable supply of molybdenum-99 for patients while we seek to establish a new and innovative industry in Wisconsin," says Sangtae "Sang" Kim, executive director of the Morgridge Institute for Research.
"This agreement, which will be matched by $500,000 in private funds, will allow us to develop detailed commercial parameters for equipment that is already safely and reliably functioning on a smaller scale. This is a tremendous opportunity that holds the potential to create needed jobs while solving a major challenge in the medical community."
Date Published: 10/04/2010