Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. to Receive LEU-Derived MO-99 from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and Becomes First to Supply U.S. Market
Global Access to Key Medical Isotope for Medical Imaging Procedures
N. BILLERICA, Mass. and LUCAS HEIGHTS, Australia (June 13, 2009) – Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a worldwide leader in diagnostic imaging, has finalized an arrangement with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to receive molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) produced from low-enriched uranium (LEU) targets in ANSTO’s new OPAL reactor. This supply arrangement positions Lantheus to be the first company to supply technetium-99m (Tc-99m) derived from LEU to the U.S. market and demonstrates the Company’s commitment to ensuring reliable supply and global access to Tc-99m, the medical isotope used in approximately 80 percent of all nuclear medicine procedures.
Lantheus will soon receive a supply of Mo-99 at regular intervals from ANSTO, for use in its TechneLite® generator line that is currently distributed to the U.S. and Canadian markets. ANSTO has secured the necessary regulatory approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia to use the LEU Mo-99 in a Tc-99m generator. The LEU-derived Mo-99 from ANSTO has been tested and validated by Lantheus for use in its TechneLite® generator line to ensure the consistency and reliability that are the hallmarks of the TechneLite® brand. This arrangement supports Lantheus’ supply chain diversification strategy and marks another step to address the limited and fragile global Mo-99 supply chain, as evidenced by the current NRU reactor shutdown in Canada.
ANSTO is working closely with nuclear safety and health regulators, both domestically and overseas, to expedite all necessary approvals to allow long-term production and export of medical isotopes. Lantheus Medical Imaging, together with ANSTO, is working closely with the FDA and Health Canada to achieve the necessary LEU Mo-99 approvals for the U.S. and Canadian markets.
“This supply arrangement marks a significant step in the advancement of medical imaging – for the first time in industry history, we will be able to offer the nuclear medicine community in North America a LEU-derived Mo-99 through our TechneLite® generator line,” said Don Kiepert, president and CEO, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. “We have been actively exploring new options for securing Mo-99 produced using LEU, and in ANSTO we have found an ideal partner with which to achieve that strategic goal. This arrangement will help ensure patients receive the benefits of diagnostic imaging with Tc-99m and at the same time support U.S. non-proliferation efforts to move from commercial use of HEU to LEU.”
Mr. Kiepert continues, “The efforts of ANSTO are more important now than ever before as our industry navigates through the challenges created by the outage of NRU reactor over the next several months. We are pleased to be working with the team from ANSTO to bring their LEU based Mo-99 into the global supply chain during this time of critical medical isotope need for patient care.”
“As Australia’s only nuclear research facility and leading authority on nuclear medicine, we play a significant role in providing Australians with access to timely medical imaging procedures that diagnose critical conditions and improve patient outcomes. We are happy to be working with Lantheus Medical Imaging because of its unparalleled reputation in the nuclear medicine industry for quality, reliability and superior technology,” said Ian Turner, ANSTO’s radiopharmaceutical general manager. “This relationship builds on our core complementary skills and helps provide a reliable Mo-99 supply using LEU in the U.S. and Canada.”
About LEU- based Mo-99
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used medical radioisotope in the world for molecular and nuclear diagnostic imaging procedures. Mo-99 is produced by the irradiation of uranium “targets” in a reactor. There are only few major worldwide suppliers of Mo-99, and most use highly-enriched uranium (HEU) targets. A primary objective of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) is to minimize proliferation risks by phasing out the use of HEU in civil commerce. ANSTO is the only global commercial supplier that currently produces Mo-99 using LEU targets, and Lantheus will be the first generator manufacturer to bring this LEU-based Mo-99 to the U.S. market.
About Technetium-99m and TechneLite®
Technetium-99m (Tc99m), which is the decay product of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), is the most commonly used medical radioisotope in the world, comprising approximately 80 percent of all nuclear medicine procedures. Tc-99m is used in Lantheus Medical Imaging’s TechneLite® (Technetium Tc99m Generator) 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 that has been used to image more than 40 million patients. In diagnostic use, the Tc-99m is attached to a specific molecule and injected into the patient. The diagnostic medicine then travels to the site or organ of interest and a special camera is used to pick up the gamma rays emitted from the radioactive material in the body and create images for diagnostic evaluation
About Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc.
Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a worldwide leader in diagnostic medicine for the past 50 years, is committed to advancing and investing in the field of diagnostic imaging. The company’s proven success in discovering, developing and marketing innovative medical imaging agents provides a solid platform from which to bring forward breakthrough new tools for the diagnosis and management of disease. The company is home to leading cardiac imaging brands, including Cardiolite® (Kit for the Preparation of Technetium Tc99m Sestamibi for Injection), DEFINITY® Vial For (Perflutren Lipid Microsphere) Injectable Suspension, and TechneLite® (Technetium Tc99m Generator) and has nearly 600 employees worldwide with headquarters in North Billerica, Massachusetts, and offices in Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia. For more information, visit www.lantheus.com.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is Australia’s only nuclear research facility and the center of Australia’s nuclear expertise, specializing in the applications of nuclear science. ANSTO is owned by the Australian Government and provides a broad range of radiopharmaceuticals and radiochemicals for the Australian and New Zealand markets. ANSTO also offers insight into and expertise on global nuclear issues, on which it provides advice to government ,and contributes to programs to assist with radiation and nuclear safety in countries in the Asia-Pacific region. ANSTO has approximately 950 employees and is based at Lucas Heights, about 40 minutes south of Sydney, on a secure campus of 70 hectares. For more information on ANSTO’s radiopharmaceutical production, please visit www.ansto.gov.au/commercial_services/health/ari/ansto_radiopharmaceuticals. For more information on ANSTO generally, please visit www.ansto.gov.au.