Lantheus Medical Imaging Takes Steps on Mo-99 Shortage

Lantheus Medical Imaging Takes Steps on Mo-99 Shortage

by Barbara Kram, Editor | May 28, 2009
Diversifying and protecting
the supply chain of radioisotopes
N. BILLERICA, Mass. - Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a worldwide leader in diagnostic imaging, announced that it has signed an agreement with NTP Radioisotopes (Pty) Ltd., a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA), to manufacture and supply Lantheus with an ongoing volume of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), a key isotope used in medical imaging procedures. This agreement underlines Lantheus' commitment to investing in a supply chain diversification strategy and providing new solutions to address the limited and fragile global Mo-99 supply chain, as evidenced by the current NRU reactor shutdown in Canada.1 Under the terms of this agreement, Lantheus will receive a specified supply of Mo-99 at regular intervals from NTP, enhancing the company's ability to meet and/or exceed customer demand. NTP has, in turn, partnered with Belgian radiochemical producer IRE to co-supply the Lantheus requirement and thereby maximize security of ongoing regular supplies of Mo-99 to Lantheus. IRE and NTP have a long and successful relationship as reliable and consistent suppliers of Mo-99 to key customers.

Global shortfalls of Mo-99 have recently impacted the availability of critical diagnostic imaging procedures, causing concern within the medical imaging industry. Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc99m), the most widely utilized radioisotope in the world for molecular and nuclear diagnostic imaging procedures. There are only a few major suppliers of nuclear-reactor generated Mo-99 in the world. Mo-99 is primarily imported into the U.S. from aging and increasingly less reliable nuclear reactors. Recent problems within the global reactor structure have created instability in the supply of Mo-99, affecting the availability of the medical isotope to technetium generator manufacturers. Without adequate supply of Mo-99, crucial imaging tests must be canceled or postponed with potentially negative consequences for patients.

"Partnering with NTP Radioisotopes as a reliable supplier of Mo-99 will provide us with expanded access within a limited supply chain. This partnership will bring our complementary skillsets and commitment to quality and reliability together to ensure patients have uninterrupted, timely access to needed medical imaging procedures that can diagnose life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer," said Don Kiepert, president and CEO, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. "Diversification of our supply chain and the introduction of new solutions in the marketplace to address the frequent worldwide medical isotope shortages is one of our foremost priorities as a company."

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