Lu-177 production begins at Canada’s Bruce NPP

November 1, 2022, 1:27PMNuclear News
Bruce's Unit 7 is now producing Lutetium-177, used in targeted cancer therapeutics. (Photo: Bruce Power)

An international collaboration between Bruce Power, Isogen (a Kinectrics and Framatome company), and ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE (ITM) announced they have begun commercial production of lutetium-177 using Unit 7 of the Bruce nuclear power plant in Kincardine, Ontario. According to the companies, this marks the first time a commercial power reactor has been used to commercially produce short-lived medical radioisotopes.

Production of Lu-177, used in targeted cancer therapeutics, follows the final commissioning and regulatory approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission of Isogen’s Isotope Production System (IPS) at Bruce-7.

The process: Designed and installed by Isogen, the IPS irradiates ytterbium-176 to produce Lu-177, which is then transported to ITM’s manufacturing facility in Germany for processing of pharmaceutical-grade, non-carrier-added (n.c.a.) Lu-177. ITM is a supplier of n.c.a. Lu-177 to health care facilities around the world.

The companies said that Bruce’s continual operations—24 hours a day, seven days a week—will provide a consistent and scalable supply of isotopes that will be used by doctors to treat cancer patients globally.

The distribution: ITM, which holds a U.S. drug master file with the Food and Drug Administration for n.c.a. Lu-177 and has marketing authorization in the European Union (brand name EndolucinBeta), has exclusive access to IPS’s irradiation services for the production of Lu-177. The company will use the increased supply of radioisotopes from the system to meet a growing medical demand.

Bruce Power will collaborate with Ontario’s Saugeen Ojibway Nation to market the new isotope supply in an equity partnership named Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin (Fighting Cancer Together).

He said it: In announcing the commencement of production on October 24, David Harris, chief executive officer of Kinectrics, said, “Today we celebrate the efforts of Bruce Power, ITM, our Kinectrics staff, and our partner in Isogen, Framatome, whose collective efforts enabled the start of commercial supply of lutetium-177. This day marks a paradigm shift in medical isotope supply wherein the international medical community can now depend on scalable, reliable, Canadian, power-reactor produced isotopes for their cancer treatments.”

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