July 22, 2014 — NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes broke ground on a new 50,000-square-foot facility in Beloit, Wis. When completed in late 2014, the facility will house the company’s headquarters and activities related to the production of the medical radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging. Currently, nearly all Mo-99 is generated using highly enriched uranium (HEU) at aging facilities located outside of the United States, leading to product shortages and creating safety and national security concerns.
NorthStar is pursuing two non-uranium- and non-fission-based production processes that would help establish the first domestic source of Mo-99 since 1990. Both processes generate only a benign waste stream.
The new facility is phase one in the planned development of a 32-acre corporate campus for NorthStar. It will support the company’s work at the University of Missouri Research Reactor in Columbia, Mo., where NorthStar is developing a neutron capture process to generate Mo-99.
The facility will provide ancillary processes, packaging and products, including final assembly and testing of the proprietary RadioGenix intelligent isotope separation system. NorthStar will also move its company headquarters, currently located in Madison, Wis., to the facility.
“This groundbreaking is an exciting milestone for NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes and an important step toward achieving the goal of establishing a reliable and commercially viable domestic source of Mo-99,” said NorthStar President and CEO George P. Messina.
Phase two of the campus development project would see the building expanded; the site could accommodate a building as large as 110,000 square feet. Phase three would include construction of a linear accelerator facility for use in the second Mo-99-generation process that NorthStar is developing. A third building also could be constructed on the site in the future as the company continues to expand.
For more information: www.northstarnm.com