Covidien warns of 'extreme' Mo-99 shortage in May

By staff writers

March 30, 2010 -- In a March 26 update, healthcare technology firm Covidien warns customers of an "extreme shortage" of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) in May, as two key nuclear reactors remain offline.

The High Flux Reactor (HFR) in Petten, Netherlands, is closed for maintenance until August and Atomic Energy of Canada's (AECL) National Research Universal (NRU) reactor also is shuttered until late July for repairs.

In the meantime, Covidien plans to continue to take Mo-99 supply from the BR2 reactor in Belgium, the Osiris reactor in France, and the Safari reactor in South Africa, along with the Maria Research Reactor (Maria) in Poland.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company last week began manufacturing technetium-99m generators at its Maryland Heights, MO, facility using Mo-99 from the Maria facility for the first time following U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval earlier this month.

Covidien also has been manufacturing generators at its facility in the Netherlands, where Covidien previously used Mo-99 derived from the Maria reactor in mid-February.

The company expects to manufacture generators derived from Maria Mo-99 again this week for distribution in the Americas, and expects to double the original projected volume.

SNM warns of 'significant disruptions' in Mo-99 supply, March 22, 2010

FDA, Health Canada approve Polish moly, March 11, 2010

Covidien signs deal to produce Mo-99 at Polish reactor, February 17, 2010

Covidien to halt generator production, January 22, 2010

Covidien pharmaceutical sales dip in fiscal Q1, January 20, 2010

Copyright © 2010

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