NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes has signed a non-exclusive letter of intent with Triad Isotopes marking a significant step toward achieving the US Department of Energy’s mandate to establish the first commercially viable domestic source of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging.

Under the agreement, NorthStar will work with Triad Isotopes to bring non-uranium-based Mo-99 produced with its proprietary RadioGenix isotope separation system to market. Triad Isotopes will buy and lease the products once the technology has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is commercially available.

NorthStar is developing a domestic source of Mo-99 produced without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to help alleviate chronic shortages of the vital medical isotope. This will help meet the goals of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites worldwide, and to minimize the use of HEU in civilian applications.

NorthStar has two methods of producing Non-HEU Mo-99, both of which produce only a benign waste stream. The Non-HEU Mo-99 produced by NorthStar is for use in the company’s Intelligent Isotope Separation System, the RadioGenix, the first true technological breakthrough in Mo-99/Tc-99m systems in nearly 45 years.

Triad Isotopes president Kerry Gillespie said that understanding the national security significance of this effort, the company has worked closely with NorthStar to help test and review its efforts.

"We are optimistic about the potential of this new technology as a means to address the need to establish a domestic source of molybdenum-99 by 2016. NorthStar has been innovative and relentless in addressing that need," Gillespie added.