With the global supply of molybdenum-99 in jeopardy due to the current NRU Chalk River reactor shutdown in Canada, Lantheus Medical Imaging, of North Billerica, Mass., announced an agreement with NTP Radioisotopes (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA), to manufacture and supply Lantheus with an ongoing volume of Mo-99.

As part of the deal, Lantheus will receive a specified supply of Mo-99 at regular intervals from NTP.  Furthermore, NTP has partnered with Belgian radiochemical producer IRE to co-supply the Lantheus requirement.

Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc99m), used for molecular and nuclear diagnostic imaging procedures. Without sufficient supply of Mo-99, diagnostic imaging tests must be canceled or postponed, therefore inflicting a major hit to patient care.

"Partnering with NTP Radioisotopes as a reliable supplier of Mo-99 will provide us with expanded access within a limited supply chain. This partnership will bring our complementary skill sets and commitment to quality and reliability together to ensure  patients have uninterrupted, timely access to needed medical imaging procedures that can diagnose life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer," said Don Kiepert, president and CEO, Lantheus Medical Imaging. "Diversification of our supply chain and the introduction of new solutions in the marketplace to address the frequent worldwide medical isotope shortages is one of our foremost priorities as a company."