BWXT makes acquisition in the growing medical radioisotope market

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Print this page Jessica Sabbath

BWX Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday plans to acquire a company in the growing medical radioisotope market.

The Lynchburg-based manufacturer of nuclear components said it had reached an agreement to purchase Sotera Health’s Nordion medical isotope business.

The company says the acquisition will accelerate its entry into the industry by adding about 150 personnel and two production centers in Canada.

“Within BWXT, we have proprietary technology that we can use to do the development of isotopes,” said Jonathan Cirtain, vice president of advanced technologies for BWXT. “With the capabilities of both personnel and the facilities in Canada, we’ll be able to use those facilities to bring new products to market.”

BWX has worked for several years in the creation of targets that are used by other companies to make medical isotopes. Hisorically, however, the company  has not been involved in processing those targets into medically safe isotopes, Cirtain said.

“There’s a growing market in therapeutics,” Cirtain said. “So they’re using radioisotopes to treat and manage cancers. That’s an area of growth and something that I think our company would be very interested in.”

Radioisotope treatments provide a more targeted approach.

“A radioisotope-delivered therapy is a very targeted approach to managing your cancer, where chemotherapy is a very broad approach,” Cirtain said. “With targeted therapy like radiopharmaceuticals, you can inject it right into the tumor and address the tumor specifically without impacting the entire body.”

The deal, subject to U.S. and Canadian regulatory review, is expected to close by the end of the year.

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