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iThemba LABS ready to start production of Strontium-82 and Germanium-68 using IBA Cyclone 70

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | January 25, 2024 Molecular Imaging
Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, January 23, 2024 – IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), the world leader in particle accelerator technology and the world’s leading provider of radiopharmaceutical production solutions, is pleased to announce that the Cyclone® 70 system installed at the iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) in Cape Town, one of the research facilities of the National Research Foundation of South Africa, has been fully commissioned enabling iThemba LABS to start transferring the production of radioisotopes from their existing accelerator to the new Cyclone® 70 system.

Acceptance testing was completed in December 2023, with the cyclotron reaching full beam power (750µA) at full energy. This 70 MeV cyclotron will be dedicated to the production of next-generation medical isotopes used mainly in the diagnosis of critical illnesses. The machine will be used primarily for the manufacture of Strontium-82 for use in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, as well as for production of Germanium-68 for use in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.

Dr Le Roux Strydom, Head of Accelerator Operations & Technical Support at iThemba LABS, said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this project. The project management was exceptional and having direct access to IBA’s experts added significant value to our experience. Our confidence in IBA’s high energy systems has been solidified by their demonstrated expertise, particularly with the 70 MeV cyclotron. We eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration with IBA, a proven leader in cyclotron technology.”
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Bruno Scutnaire, President at IBA RadioPharma Solutions, added: “We are proud to announce yet another demonstration of our expertise in 70 MeV machines with this project, with installation successfully completed and iThemba LABS ready to start the production of Strontium-82 and other radioisotopes. This latest accomplishment strengthens our leading position in cyclotron technology and attests to our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions to meet our clients’ needs. To date, six Cyclone® 70 MeV machines and over 35 cyclotrons of 30 MeV have been installed worldwide. We see a growing interest for these high energy machines, driven by an increasing number of clinical trials exploring new diagnostic or radiotherapeutic molecules.”


About IBA
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is the world leader in particle accelerator technology. The company is the leading supplier of equipment and services in the field of proton therapy, considered to be the most advanced form of radiation therapy available today. IBA is also a leading player in the fields of industrial sterilization, radiopharmaceuticals and dosimetry. The company, based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, employs approximately 2,000 people worldwide. IBA is a certified B Corporation (B Corp) meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.


About iThemba LABS
iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS), a National Research Facility managed by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, is a multidisciplinary research facility that is based on the development, operation and use of particle accelerators and related research equipment. iThemba LABS is South Africa’s largest basic science enterprise probing the fundamental structure and origins of matter, advancing our understanding of condensed matter and enhancing our impact on societal needs such as medicine and the environment. In South Africa and internationally iThemba LABS is known for its leadership in advancing isotopes for science and medicine. In schools and among students, iThemba LABS is an inspiration, a career path, and a resource for learning and sharing. In business circles, iThemba LABS is recognized for its advanced accelerator technologies and production of medical isotopes. In academia, iThemba LABS is known as the regional hub for South African university researchers in material, particle and nuclear physics.

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