SHINE signs license agreement for hydrogen isotope separation process

Monona-based SHINE Medical Technologies Inc. has received an exclusive license on a patented hydrogen isotope separation process for use in medical isotope production from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC (SRNS), the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL).

The agreement with SRNS gives SHINE the right to use SRNL’s thermal cycling absorption process (TCAP) in its manufacturing facility. The use of TCAP provides the high-purity inputs needed for SHINE’s patented technology, which enhances the production of medical isotopes, including molybdenum-99 (moly-99).

SHINE will build its first medical isotope manufacturing facility in Janesville. It will be able to produce enough moly-99 every year to supply more than two-thirds of the U.S. patient population.

Moly-99 decays into the diagnostic imaging agent technetium-99m (tech-99m), which is used in over 40 million medical imaging procedures each year — primarily in stress tests to detect heart disease and in bone scans to determine the stage of cancer progression.

Despite constituting approximately half of the world’s demand for moly-99, the U.S. does not produce any moly-99 domestically and currently imports its entire supply from foreign nuclear reactors.  Many of these reactors are beyond their original design life and scheduled to be shut down in the coming years.