January 7, 2015 – MONONA, Wis. – SHINE Medical Technologies and Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) announced today that they have entered into an exclusive, long-term development and supply agreement. This agreement builds on an existing partnership and lays the foundation for a commercial relationship going forward.
“I’m extremely proud that SHINE has selected PNL to provide the accelerator hardware needed to operate their facility,” said Ross Radel, President of PNL. “Their medical isotope production facility will have a major impact on millions of patients every year. Everyone at PNL is thrilled to be a part of this project and is committed to supporting SHINE by delivering the most reliable high-yield neutron generators ever built.”
Under the agreement, SHINE will provide further funding for PNL to refine their neutron generator technology to meet the reliability requirements of the SHINE isotope production facility, which will be located in Janesville, WI. In addition, PNL has committed to exclusively supply all neutron generators required by the SHINE facility through the term of the agreement.
“We’ve developed a strong partnership with PNL over the last several years, and they have demonstrated time and time again their ability to deliver key milestones on this important technology,” said Greg Piefer, CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies. “They have a world class team that is way out in front of all other technologies for neutron generation at this scale. I have every confidence that they will be an excellent supplier, helping to support SHINE for many years into the future.”
SHINE and PNL have been working together in a research and development partnership over the last five years. SHINE plans to build a facility to produce the medical isotope molybdenum-99, which is used in over 40,000 medical imaging procedures in the US daily for the diagnosis of heart disease and cancer, among a number of other important procedures. By utilizing the PNL technology, SHINE is able to produce these isotopes safely and in a cost-effective manner, without the use of highly enriched uranium.
Despite constituting approximately half of the world’s demand for molybdenum-99, the US does not produce any molybdenum-99 domestically and imports 100 percent of its supply from foreign nuclear reactors. Many of these reactors are beyond their original design life and scheduled to be shut down in the coming years, which, if not replaced, could lead to medical isotope shortages and deny patients access to life-saving procedures. The SHINE facility is expected to begin commercial production in 2018 and will be able to produce enough molybdenum-99 every year to supply over half of the entire US patient population.