BWXT announces new medical isotope manufacturing technology
- May 8, 2018
Lynchburg-based BWX Technologies Inc. has developed a new medical isotope manufacturing technology.
The company says the technology will create a stable North American supply of a critical diagnostic imaging radionuclide, molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
The Mo-99 will be used in newly designed technetium-99m (Tc-99m) generators that are in commercial development at BWXT.
The new proprietary technology features a patent-pending neutron-capture process developed by BWXT scientists and engineers.
The process will use molybdenum rather than uranium targets, a move that BWXT says will mitigate radioactive waste streams, eliminate nuclear proliferation concerns and lead to a significant reduction in production and waste costs.
Mo-99 is the parent radioisotope of Tc-99m, which is used in more than 30 million medical procedures around the world every year.
BWXT expects to enter the roughly $400 million global Tc-99m segment through generator sales to radiopharmacies. The company’s initial focus will be on the North American market.
The company expects to submit its new line of Tc-99m generators for regulatory approval next year.
BWXT also plans to introduce the Mo-99 product line by the end of next year, subject to regulatory approvals, and intends to apply its expertise to a variety of other medical and industrial isotopes.