SANTA CLARA, Calif. — OCTOBER 29, 2020 — Based on its recent analysis of the North American nuclear medicine imaging market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC (NorthStar) with the 2020 North American Enabling Technology Leadership Award. The company’s RadioGenix® System is an innovative, high tech radioisotope separation platform for use in producing medically important technetium-99m (Tc-99m) from non-uranium produced molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Vertically integrated NorthStar will ensure reliable U.S. supply of Mo-99/Tc-99m with long-term predictable pricing for essential diagnostic imaging studies while eliminating harmful radioactive waste.
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“The first-of-its-kind RadioGenix System is a flexible, high-tech separation platform for processing non-uranium/based Mo-99. The system leverages two production routes using naturally occurring molybdenum as a starting material,” said Dr. Suresh Kuppuswamy, Industry Principal. “In the neutron capture process, a neutron is added to the Mo-98 isotope, which comprises about 24% of natural molybdenum, to produce Mo-99. In the very near future, NorthStar will irradiate a concentrated form of molybdenum, (cMo-98) (greater than 95% Mo-98) to improve production by a factor of four. NorthStar’s neutron ‘knock-out’ process complements neutron capture technology and relies on high-power electron accelerators to knock out a neutron from the Mo-100 isotope to produce Mo-99.”
As the first domestic supplier and the only vertically integrated company, NorthStar streamlines the Mo-99 supply chain, mitigates risks along the process, and minimizes disruptions to the healthcare system. NorthStar’s production processes are environmentally friendly in contrast to uranium-based processes that generate a vast amount of long half-life radioactive waste. The company’s intellectual property includes patented non-uranium-based Mo-99 domestic production methods, separation chemistry and sterilization systems, and an expandable technology platform with solutions in both diagnostics and therapeutics.
NorthStar aims to use both neutron capture Mo-99 produced at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR®) and neutron knock-out Mo-99 produced in Beloit, Wisconsin to ensure dual production hubs and therefore highly reliable domestic supply. The company adds liquid Mo-99 solution into tungsten-shielded source vessels and ships them to radiopharmacies across the United States. With a RadioGenix System installed on-site, a Nuclear Pharmacist places the Mo-99 source vessel in the system. The RadioGenix System then extracts the Tc-99 from the Mo-99 and delivers the critical medical radioisotope in a vial ready to use for compounding patient doses.
“NorthStar’s end-to-end solution, both as Mo-99 supplier and Tc-99m generator manufacturer, truly revolutionizes the U.S. medical radioisotope industry,” noted Dr. Suresh. “NorthStar is prioritizing its isotope pipeline to meet evolving market demand, and is currently working on actinium-225 and copper-67 for therapeutic applications. With the RadioGenix System, NorthStar is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on emerging needs and opportunities while supporting nuclear medicine’s evolving role in value-based care.”
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has developed a pioneering technology that enhances current products and enables the development of new products and applications. The award recognizes the high market acceptance potential of the recipient’s technology.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analyses, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
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