Feature | March 06, 2013

Cardiac Imaging Agent Helps Make the World Safer From Nuclear Weapons

New Tc-99m generator eliminates the use of highly enriched uranium

LEU TechneLite generator

As the U.S. government works to strengthen its global nuclear security strategy by eliminating potential sources of bomb-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU), it has eyed the production of medical isotopes for nuclear imaging, which rely on HEU.  To encourage reliable supplies of medical radioisotopes produced from non-HEU sources, President Obama signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, the American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2011 (AMIPA). It should be noted that it was part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, so the measure goes beyond interest in just making sure patients have access to radiopharamceutical tracers to enable myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) scans.  The effort is designed to make HEU sources less available on the world market to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation or the building of a “dirty bomb.”


The AMIPA encourages the domestic production of LEU molybdenum-99 (Mo-99 — the parent isotope to produce the imaging radiotracer technetium-99m) and provides for the eventual prohibition of the export of HEU from the United States. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently stipulated in the 2013 final Medicare payment rules, for Medicare hospital outpatients, that CMS will provide incremental reimbursement for every Tc-99m exam dose produced from non-HEU sourced Mo-99. Lantheus’ LEU TechneLite generator satisfies the new reimbursement requirements under the CMS 2013 rules.


As a result, Lantheus Medical Imaging added a low-enriched uranium (LEU) TechneLite technetium-99m (Tc-99m) generator to its nuclear imaging product portfolio. The LEU TechneLite generator is the first Tc-99m generator in the United States that contains Mo-99 produced from at least 95 percent LEU. With greater access to LEU Mo-99 through its supply chain diversification strategy, Lantheus said it has moved closer to its goal of eventually eliminating HEU-sourced Mo-99 from its supply chain. Lantheus’ first LEU TechneLite generator was shipped on Jan. 7, 2013.


Mo-99 decays to Tc-99m, which is used in more than 16.7 million nuclear imaging procedures in the United States each year. 


“We are pleased to be the first company to offer a Tc-99m generator produced using at least 95 percent LEU,” said Don Kiepert, president and chief executive officer of Lantheus Medical Imaging. “As leaders in nuclear medicine, an important component of our global sourcing strategy is to increase our use of LEU-sourced Mo-99 with a goal of 100 percent by 2016. Our TechneLite generator is used in many critical diagnostic imaging procedures, including scans of the heart, brain, bone, kidneys and some types of tumors.  The introduction of our LEU TechneLite generator expands our nuclear medicine product portfolio and meets CMS’ new reimbursement requirements for Medicare hospital outpatients in 2013, while supporting the government’s non-proliferation goal.”


In 2012, Lantheus announced expanded access to LEU-sourced Mo-99 with an extended agreement with NTP Radioisotopes in South Africa. Under the five-year agreement, Lantheus will receive an increasing supply of Mo-99 produced from LEU targets from NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO). Additionally, Lantheus announced continued supply of Mo-99 from Nordion, used in the production of the company’s non-LEU TechneLite generators.  


Related Content

Navidea, Mass General, Tc99m-tilmanocept, vulnerable plaque, cardiovascular disease, Harvard
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers| July 30, 2015
Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced plans to move forward with a joint study of the ability of Tc99m-tilmanocept...
Medraysintell, nuclear medicine, World Market Report, radiopharmaceuticals
News | Nuclear Imaging| July 06, 2015
Medraysintell released its updated World Market Report and Directory on Nuclear Medicine, Edition 2015, in late June,...
nuclear medicine diagnostic market, North America, PET, SPECT, Mordor
News | Nuclear Imaging| June 29, 2015
The Global Nuclear Medicine Diagnostics Market report from Mordor Intelligence revealed that North America accounts for...
Siemens, MES contract, William Osler Health System, Ontario, Canada
News | Cardiac Imaging| June 26, 2015
Canadian hospital William Osler Health System (Osler), based in Ontario, has awarded Siemens Healthcare a Managed...
Siemens, SNMMI 2015, Biograph RT Pro, Symbia Evo, syngo.via for MI
News | Nuclear Imaging| June 11, 2015
At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), June 6-10 at the Baltimore...
GE Healthcare, FASTlab 2, FDG Duo, GENtrace cyclotron, PET imaging

FASTlab 2 with FDG Duo cassette image courtesy of GE Healthcare

Technology | June 08, 2015
GE Healthcare announced that it has created a solution to make positron emission tomography (PET) tracers for...
eVance, Kromek, SPECT cameras, CZT, OEM
Technology | June 08, 2015
Kromek announced the launch of eVance, a new generation of cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)-based SPECT (single photon...
Toshiba, Celesteion, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging, U.S., first
News | PET-CT| June 08, 2015
Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI) of Las Vegas has bolstered its capabilities by installing the United...
News | May 29, 2015
National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) and Henderson, Nevada-based Global Medical Isotope Systems (GMIS) announced...
Mo-99, molybdenum, MURR, NorthStar, production, University of Missouri
News | May 07, 2015
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC has completed its first production-scale test run of the molybdenum-99 (Mo-99)...
Overlay Init