NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes has signed an agreement with proton therapy developer Ion Beam Applications (IBA) to purchase as many as eight of IBA's Rhodotron TT300 HE electron-beam accelerators.
NorthStar already has issued purchase orders for two accelerators to expand its U.S. nonuranium-based production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the precursor for technetium-99m (Tc-99m). The company plans to order the other six devices in the coming years.
"Electron-beam accelerators are a highly effective method of producing Mo-99 that can provide customized scheduling flexibility and minimize supply risk for our customers," said James Harvey, PhD, chief science officer of NorthStar, in a written statement.
NorthStar is close to completing a facility expansion that would more than double its Mo-99 capacity production. The company expects to break ground on the accelerator facility in Beloit, WI, later this year. In addition, more fill lines at the company's Columbia, MO, facilities will help increase the number of Mo-99 source vessels NorthStar could ship weekly.
Both projects are pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).