May 9th, 2018
(from the Corvallis Gazette-Times, May 9, 2018, click here
for the full story)
A small Corvallis company took a big step forward this week when it won approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a processing plant for radioactive medical isotopes.
“We’ve passed a major milestone that we’ve been anticipating for a couple of years now,” CEO Nick Fowler said.
The company, founded in 2010 to commercialize a new technology developed at Oregon State University, aims to become a major U.S. supplier of molybdenum-99, a radioactive isotope used in cardiac stress tests, bone scans and other medical procedures.
The market for molybdenum-99 is significant — according to Fowler, the isotope is used in about 50,000 procedures each day in the United States — but there are currently no American producers. That leaves U.S. hospitals at the mercy of an international supply chain that is prone to disruptions.
“There has been no domestic production of molybdenum-99 in the United States since the 1960s, and then it was for research,” Fowler said. “Having a domestic supply is and has been our primary mission.”
Corvallis-based Samaritan Health Services and Dignity Health, a San Francisco-based health system with medical facilities in 22 states, are among the venture’s financial backers, along with Cheever Capital Management of Albany.
For now the company’s focus is on completing its new processing facility and establishing efficient production and distribution of molybdenum-99, Fowler said, but eventually the company intends to expand its product line to include additional isotopes as well.