SHINE Europe, a nascent subsidiary of Wisconsin-based SHINE Technologies, announced Wednesday that it has secured funding to begin designing an advanced medical isotopes facility in Veendam, the Netherlands. The new facility will use the same fusion-based neutron generator system SHINE is employing at its Janesville, Wis., facility to produce medical isotopes, including molybdenum-99, which is used in diagnostic imaging.
News of the funding follows the January 24 announcement by Nuclear Medicine Europe that the High Flux Reactor at Petten, the Netherlands, has been indefinitely shut down due to discovery of a water leak in the reactor beam tube cooling system, leading to reported shortages of Mo-99 and other medical isotopes. The reactor is said to supply about 60 percent of European demand for medical isotopes.
Once SHINE Europe is fully operational, SHINE said it anticipates that, combined with the Janesville plant, the output of Mo-99 from the two facilities will serve up to 70 percent of the global need for Mo-99. SHINE said it is also exploring the potential production of additional isotopes such as iodine-131 and xenon-133, among others.
They said it: “Europe has consistently struggled with unstable, aging reactors leading to supply issues and shortages of Mo-99,” said Harrie Buurlage, SHINE’s general manager of European operations. “We believe the SHINE Europe facility will greatly improve the supply chain, reduce potential shortages of various fission-based isotopes, and empower medical professionals to deliver a higher level of patient care.”
Julia Casey, general manager of molecular imaging for Europe-based GE Healthcare, said, “We are delighted about [SHINE’s] plans to build another advanced facility, providing additional capacity and reliable, consistent supply of critical diagnostic and therapeutic isotopes. This will help medical professionals caring for tens of thousands of heart and cancer patients every day across the globe.”
Funding: SHINE said that the current phase of the European project is being funded by the Province of Groningen, where Veendam is located, and the Federal State of the Netherlands. SHINE’s other investors include global private and public entities such as Baillie Gifford, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Fidelity, Deerfield Management Company, and Oaktree Capital Management.