Lantheus Medical Imaging Announces First Commercial Production of TechneLite® Generators from Low-Enriched Uranium-Produced Molybdenum-99
Marks First Commercial Use of Low-Enriched Uranium-based Molybdenum-99 in the U.S.
Demonstrates Company’s Ongoing Leadership and Commitment to Supply Chain
Diversification Strategy and Global Nuclear Security
N. BILLERICA, Mass. (December 6, 2010) – Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a worldwide leader in diagnostic medical imaging, today announced the first commercial production of TechneLite® (Technetium Tc99m Generator) generators using molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) produced with low-enriched uranium (LEU) targets, making Lantheus the first company to use Mo-99 sourced from LEU in the United States. Lantheus received the first commercial scale batch from NTP Radioisotopes Ltd. (NTP), a subsidiary of the Nuclear Energy Corporate of South Africa (Necsa).
As a global leader in the medical imaging industry, Lantheus is working closely with NTP and the Department of Energy as part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative to drive the conversion of production of Mo-99, an important medical isotope, from the use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to LEU. This announcement marks a major accomplishment in global nuclear security and supports the United States’ non-proliferation efforts to minimize and eventually eliminate all commercial use of HEU.
“Lantheus is a leader in securing and supplying Mo-99 to the nuclear medicine community and we are pleased to be the first company in North America to receive FDA approval for the commercial sale and distribution of our TechneLite® generators using Mo-99 produced from LEU targets,” said Don Kiepert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lantheus Medical Imaging. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to working with government officials, such as NNSA, to promote global nuclear safety by providing a new, secure approach to producing Mo-99.
“We proactively implemented a diversification strategy for the supply of Mo-99 several years ago to increase reliable access to this key medical isotope,” continued Kiepert. “The use of LEU-sourced Mo-99 further demonstrates our commitment to providing the health care community with secure, uninterrupted and timely access to critical medical imaging procedures, allowing health care providers to make more informed and better therapeutic decisions for their patients. As a result, we believe more patients will receive more appropriate levels of care, potentially improving outcomes, reducing patient risk and decreasing costs for the entire health care system.”
As a result of the recent and prolonged global supply shortage of Mo-99 and the Company’s global supply chain diversification strategy, Lantheus entered into an agreement with NTP in 2009 in an effort to ensure expanded access to Mo-99 and has been working closely with NTP to qualify LEU-based Mo-99 for commercial use. While Lantheus’ current supply of Mo-99 is sufficient to meet current and near-term needs, the Company continues to pursue various initiatives to ensure a global diversified and reliable source of Mo-99, including identifying potential new producers as well as new technologies such as LEU-produced Mo-99.
About Molybdenum-99 and Technetium-99m
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope in the world for molecular and nuclear diagnostic imaging tests. Tc-99m is a critical component of many medical tests, including scans of the heart, brain, kidneys and some types of tumors. Tc-99m is used in Lantheus Medical Imaging’s TechneLite® generators, which are distributed to hospitals and radiopharmacies as a source of Tc-99m for diagnostic imaging procedures. Tc-99m is also used with Cardiolite® (Kit for the Preparation of Technetium Tc99m Sestamibi for Injection), one of the world’s most widely used cardiac imaging agents, and the only technetium-labeled myocardial perfusion agent, which has been used to image more than 40 million patients. In diagnostic use, Tc-99m is attached to a specific molecule and injected into the patient, where it emits gamma radiation that can be used to produce an image of the area.
About Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc.
Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a worldwide leader in diagnostic medicine for more than 50 years, is dedicated to creating and providing pioneering medical imaging solutions to improve the treatment of human disease. The Company’s proven success in discovering, developing and marketing innovative medical imaging agents provides a strong platform from which to bring forward breakthrough new tools for the diagnosis and management of disease. Lantheus imaging products include the echocardiography contrast agent DEFINITY® Vial for (Perflutren Lipid Microsphere) Injectable Suspension, ABLAVAR® (gadofosveset trisodium), a first-in-class magnetic resonance agent indicated for the evaluation of aortoiliac occlusive disease in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease, TechneLite® (Technetium Tc99m Generator), Cardiolite® (Kit for the Preparation of Technetium Tc99m Sestamibi for Injection), and Thallium 201 (Thallous Chloride Tl 201 Injection). Lantheus has more than 600 employees worldwide with headquarters in North Billerica, Massachusetts, and offices in Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia. For more information, visit www.lantheus.com.