JANESVILLE, Wis., Aug. 9, 2019 – SHINE Medical Technologies LLC today announced it has received a $15-million award from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA). The award was made by the agency as part of its effort to establish a reliable, U.S.-produced supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the most commonly used medical isotope, without the use of highly enriched uranium. The cooperative agreement with the DOE/NNSA requires SHINE to provide $15 million of matching funds.
Medical isotopes are used in heart stress tests, cancer staging and therapeutics, and other medical applications. Chronic global shortages of Mo-99 routinely and significantly affect the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the United States and around the world.
SHINE broke ground in May on an isotope production facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. It will be the first facility of its kind in the world, using the company’s patented technology to produce Mo-99 and other isotopes used in more than 40 million procedures every year. When the facility becomes operational after the company receives approval to operate from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the plant will be capable of producing the majority of U.S. demand for Mo-99. The NRC’s review is expected to take up to 24 months from its acceptance of SHINE’s application.
“We are grateful for DOE/NNSA’s award as SHINE continues its progress toward production of Mo-99 and other important medical isotopes,” said Greg Piefer, SHINE’s founder and CEO. “SHINE’s recently-submitted operating license application to the NRC brings us one step closer to that goal. The recent DOE/NNSA award directly supports SHINE’s continued advancement as we work to supply lifesaving medical tracers and therapeutics to an underserved, growing global market.”
About Medical Isotopes
Medical isotopes are radioisotopes that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) is a radioisotope that decays into the diagnostic imaging agent technetium 99m (Tc-99m). The workhorse of nuclear medicine, Tc-99m is used in more than 40 million medical imaging procedures each year, primarily in stress tests to diagnose heart disease and to stage cases of cancer. SHINE was founded to deploy a safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology to produce a variety of medical isotopes, including Mo-99. Roughly one percent of all Mo-99 in the world decays every hour, meaning it must be produced continuously. Current production is limited to only a handful of government-owned nuclear research reactors, the majority of which are overseas.
About SHINE Medical Technologies LLC
Founded in 2010, SHINE is a development-stage company working to become a manufacturer of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. The SHINE system uses a patented, proprietary manufacturing process that offers major advantages over existing and proposed production technologies. It does not require a nuclear reactor, uses less electricity, generates less waste and is compatible with the nation’s existing supply chain for Mo-99. In 2014, SHINE announced the execution of Mo-99 supply agreements with GE Healthcare and Lantheus Medical Imaging. In 2015, with the help of Argonne National Laboratory, GE Healthcare demonstrated that SHINE Mo-99 can act as a drop-in replacement for reactor-based Mo-99. In 2016, SHINE received regulatory approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct its production facility. The company began construction of the facility in the spring of 2019.