NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, a Beloit, Wis.-based provider of radiopharmaceuticals used for medical imaging and therapeutic applications, and GE Healthcare announce the signing of an exclusive agreement for the manufacturing and distribution of iodine-123 (I-123) capsules in the United States.

Under the contract terms, GE Healthcare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics unit will manufacture and supply NorthStar with I-123 capsules under the NorthStar label using a new production system at its facility in Arlington Heights, Ill. Upon receipt of the required regulatory approvals, NorthStar will retain exclusive U.S. marketing and distribution rights for these I-123 capsules, which will be available in 100µCi and 200µCi formulations.

Iodide I-123 (as sodium iodide I-123) is a radioisotope of iodine, a staple product in radiopharmacies that is used routinely in nuclear medicine as the proven standard for the diagnosis of physiological abnormalities in the thyroid, including thyroid cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 44,280 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2021.

“This exclusive sales and manufacturing agreement marks NorthStar’s strong and growing relationship with GE Healthcare, and we look forward to working with the company in meeting the needs of radiopharmacy customers and the patients we all serve,” says Stephen Merrick, President and CEO of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. “NorthStar is strongly committed to the future of nuclear medicine. The ability to provide I-123 further expands our diagnostic imaging portfolio, which includes domestically produced, non-uranium Mo-99/technetium-99m and FibroScint, a novel fibrin-specific diagnostic imaging agent with potential clinical utility in cardiovascular care.”

Chris Vessell, U.S. nuclear medicine supply chain leader, GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics, adds: “We are pleased to sign this agreement and look forward to working with NorthStar in providing patients across the United States with I-123 capsules. NorthStar has proven itself a leader in successfully driving technology development to produce innovative, real-world solutions for radioisotope production to meet healthcare needs, and we anticipate a productive relationship with the company.”

GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics imaging agents support three patient procedures every second worldwide across MRI, X-ray/CT, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine imaging.