SHINE creates new therapeutics division

SHINE Medical Technologies has announced the creation of a new division — SHINE Therapeutics — to focus on the rapidly growing therapeutic isotope market. The new division initially will focus on the development and commercialization of lutetium‑177, or Lu‑177, a therapeutic isotope that is combined with a disease-specific targeting molecule to treat cancer.

In a related announcement, Katrina Pitas has been appointed vice president and general manager of SHINE Therapeutics. Most recently, Pitas served as SHINE’s vice president of business development.

With SHINE Therapeutics, Pitas will be involved with business development related to the targeting molecules that deliver Lu‑177 atoms to cancer sites throughout the body, where they directly irradiate cancer cells. The first Lu‑177-based targeted radiotherapy — for neuroendocrine tumors — reached the market in 2018, and other targeted molecules for the treatment of a range of cancers are currently under investigation.

“Targeted radiotherapy has the potential to fundamentally change the way cancer patients are treated,” Pitas says in a company press release. “But a robust, reliable supply of therapeutic isotopes will be crucial as both the discipline and associated markets continue to grow.”

SHINE is continuing its efforts to bring molybdenum-99, or Mo‑99, to a global market experiencing shortages that affect patient care. Construction of the company’s isotope production facility in Janesville, where it will produce Mo‑99, is underway.

SHINE, founded in 2010, also is evaluating additional medical isotopes with therapeutic properties for future development.

In a related matter, SHINE has announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted SHINE’s license application to operate its medical isotope production facility in Janesville. The NRC’s acceptance confirms that SHINE’s application was complete and of sufficient quality for the NRC to start its detailed technical review of the application, which is the next step in the approval process.