NNSA awards NorthStar Medical Technologies a Cooperative Agreement to Produce Critical Medical Isotope
MADISON, WI – November 21, 2013 – NorthStar Medical Technologies, LLC (“NorthStar”), today announced it was awarded a $21.8 million cooperative agreement of which $10.9 million will be funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The cooperative agreement is part of the NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative, which aims to accelerate the development of a reliable, domestic supply of molybdenum-99 while reducing the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in civilian applications worldwide. The funds will support NorthStar’s non-uranium-based production of molybdenum-99 via neutron capture. NorthStar is collaboratively pursuing the development and production efforts with the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Molybdenum-99 is a vital medical isotope used in over 50,000 medical diagnostic procedures daily in the United States. Current supplies come entirely from foreign facilities utilizing highly enriched uranium. NorthStar believes the neutron capture process, along with its proprietary TechneGen™ technology, is the fastest most efficient method of creating viable domestic production of molybdenum-99. NorthStar considers this approach its “Short Term Solution.”
NorthStar’s process will address supply shortages, national security concerns, and logistical complexities associated with the importation of molybdenum-99. Current uranium-based production techniques result in high-levels of long lived radioactive waste. NorthStar’s production methodologies use non-uranium based raw materials and therefore avoid the waste issue and associated costs altogether.
In late September 2013, NorthStar announced that it received an additional $13.5 million in funding from its primary investor, Hendricks Holding Company, along with other outside investors. This funding, in addition to the cooperative agreement from NNSA, provides the necessary capital to complete domestic commercialization efforts of this critical medical radioisotope.
“We are very pleased to reach this major milestone in partnership with the NNSA,” said George Messina, NorthStar’s CEO. “The recent unscheduled seven month shutdown of the HFR Petten Reactor and previous other foreign supply disruptions have heightened the concern that another potential medical isotope crisis is looming in the near future. NNSA’s desire to support the NorthStar project along with our investors demonstrates the confidence they have in the future success NorthStar’s approach. NorthStar has been working diligently to perfect a safe, sustainable approach to the production of molybdenum-99. With this funding and additional funding from our valued private investors, we take a significant stride toward our goal of producing half of the U.S. supply of molybdenum-99.”
About NorthStar Medical Technologies, LLC
NorthStar Medical Technologies, LLC was founded in 2006 to address the needs of the nuclear medicine market in the United States. The company is committed to resolving supply challenges which have plagued the industry and hamper production supply. Current shortages of vital medical isotopes are negatively impacting patient care and stalling clinical research. NorthStar’s patented technologies include innovative non-uranium based molybdenum-99 production methods, a novel separation chemistry system, and tools for the nuclear medicine market. Learn more at www.northstarnm.com.