First Commercial Production of Tc-99m Generators from Low-Enriched Uranium Begins


December 10, 2010

December 10, 2010 – The first commercial production of generators using molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) produced with low-enriched uranium (LEU) targets in the United States is underway. The Lantheus TechneLite (Technetium Tc99m) generator received the first commercial scale batch from NTP Radioisotopes, a subsidiary of the Nuclear Energy Corporate of South Africa (NESCA)

As part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the company is working to convert the production of Mo-99, an important medical isotope, from highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to LEU.

Lantheus is the first company in North America to receive FDA approval for the commercial sale of generators that produce Mo-99 from LEU targets.

Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope in the world for molecular and nuclear diagnostic imaging tests. Tc-99m is a critical component of many medical tests, including scans of the heart, brain, kidneys and some types of tumors. In diagnostic use, Tc-99m is attached to a specific molecule and injected into the patient, where it emits gamma radiation that can be used to produce an image of the area.

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