Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Canada to Develop New Isotope Production Methods

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 11 Mar 2013
An aging reactor and a worldwide looming shortage of medical isotopes has driven Canada to search for alternatives methods to manufacture technetium-99m (99mTc).

At the moment, Canada's only source of the isotope is the National Research Universal (NRU; Chalk River, Ontario, Canada) reactor at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL, Ontario, Canada), which produces about a third of the world's supply. But the reactor has been plagued with safety and operational problems, leading to worldwide shortages, and its license is set to expire in 2016. Consequently, Canada is investing close to USD 21 million in three projects in western Canada that have demonstrated the ability to produce the key medical isotope without a nuclear reactor.

Two of the research institutes, the national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics (TRIUMF; Vancouver, BC, Canada) and the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) are using cyclotron technology to produce the isotope, while the third, Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise (PIPE; Pinawa, MB, Canada), is using a linear accelerator.

In the cyclotron process, the machine bombards a target of molybdenum-100 with high-energy protons, converting some of its atoms to molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Then chemical processing removes technetium-99 from the target, ready for use. The PIPE technology uses an electron accelerator rather than a nuclear reactor to make the Mo-99. The electron accelerator sprays electricity onto molybdenum metal, which produces the Mo-99 radioisotope. Next, a chemical process is used to fabricate the Tc-99m.

“The Harper Government is investing in Canadian expertise to help ensure new sources of supply for medical isotopes used in diagnosing various diseases, such as cancer and heart disease,” said Joe Oliver Canada’s natural resources minister. “We are investing in the work needed to attract private sector interest and to bring new technologies to market, and to help ensure that isotope production is on a sound commercial footing.”

Tc-99m is obtained from the decay of its parent isotope Mo-99 compounds that are packed into nuclear "generators" and distributed to hospitals, where nuclear medicine specialists can draw off the Tc-99m as needed for about a week. Tc-99m is used in 80% of nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures in Canada, and about 85% of all medical imaging procedures worldwide. It is currently made in reactors in Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Australia, and South Africa.

Related Links:

National Research Universal
TRIUMF
Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Differences in the structure of a small lung artery (top row) and heart cross section (lower row) of rodents without disease (far left column); with pulmonary hypertension (middle) and a diseased rodent treated with the HDL peptide (right). Note the much narrowed lung artery, and thick walls and larger chamber of the heart in the diseased animal and improvements with 4F peptide treatment (Photo courtesy of UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles).

Apolipoprotein A-1 Mimetic Peptide Reverses Pulmonary Hypertension in Rodent Models

A small peptide that mimics the activity of apolipoprotein A-1 (apo A-1), the main protein component of the high density lipoproteins (HDL), counteracted the effects of oxidized lipids and alleviated symptoms... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: (Left) Neurons in brains from people with autism do not undergo normal pruning during childhood and adolescence. The images show representative neurons from unaffected brains (left) and brains from autistic patients (right); the spines on the neurons indicate the location of synapses (Photo courtesy of Guomei Tang, PhD and Mark S. Sonders, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center).

Autistic Youngsters Found to Have Too Many Brain Synapses

Autistic children and adolescents have been shown to have an excess of brain synapses, and this is due to a slowdown in the normal brain “trimming” process during development, according to new findings.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Hair follicle (blue) being attacked by T cells (green) (Photo courtesy of Christiano Lab/Columbia University Medical Center).

Hair Restoration Method Clones Patients’ Cells to Grow New Hair Follicles

Researchers have developed of a new hair restoration approach that uses a patient’s cells to grow new hair follicles. In addition, the [US] Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Important Immune Cell Regulators’ Response Identified

A new strategy could help accelerate laboratory research and the development of potential therapeutics, including vaccines. The technology may also be used to identify the genes that underlie tumor cell development. There are approximately 40,000 genes in each of the body’s cells, but functions for only approximately... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.