Cardinal Health, Inc. (Cardinal Health), a US-based medical devices company, has opened a new facility in Omaha, Nebraska, that manufactures radiopharmaceuticals, giving local physicians new tools that aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. The new manufacturing facility, known as a cyclotron, will produce fluorine-18 (F-18), a raw material needed to create imaging agents that, when injected into patients, are visible during a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
The new facility has created 30 highly skilled jobs across the areas of nuclear pharmacy, health physics and radiopharmaceutical manufacturing.
“Cardinal Health’s new radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility provides Omaha patients and physicians with immediate access to some of the health care industry’s most cutting-edge imaging agents,” said Jordan Hankins, medical director of nuclear medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “This innovative technology is an important tool in improving local health care, because it helps us detect serious illnesses early and determine the effectiveness of related treatments.”
In addition to FDG, the new cyclotron can produce a variety of other PET imaging agents to support oncology, neurology and cardiac imaging procedures, including new radiopharmaceuticals for use in clinical trials. The imaging agents produced at the facility will not only diagnose and treat disease at earlier stages, but they can also help pharmaceutical companies evaluate efficacy of new therapeutic agents, saving time and reducing costs associated with bringing new medications to market.
“Making PET products more accessible to clinicians and patients is critical to providing the highest level of care today, but it is also important to the future of molecular imaging,” said John Rademacher, president and general manager of specialty and nuclear pharmacy services for Cardinal Health. “While pharmaceutical companies bring great expertise in new drug development, Cardinal Health acts as a commercialization catalyst that has the manufacturing scale to rapidly bring novel agents to the broader U.S. health care market.”