The Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration are set to negotiate potential cooperative agreements with four companies to produce a medical isotope for use in medical procedures throughout the U.S.
DOE said Wednesday it plans to award each company up to $15M to manufacture Molybdenum-99 without the use of highly enriched uranium components.
Mo-99 is administered in diagnostic tests for cancer and cardiovascular disease, research of organ structure and function, and other key medical applications.
Aside from the planned agreements, the agency has also funded national laboratories to boost efforts in the domestic production of Mo-99.
“This industry outreach helps to develop a reliable domestic supply of a vital medical isotope, reduce dependence on foreign imports, and bring new opportunity to the heartland," said Energy Secretary Rick Perry, secretary of DOE.
The potential contractors are:
- NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes
- Northwest Medical Isotopes
- SHINE Medical Technologies
National laboratories also receive DOE/NNSA funds to help companies manufacture the isotope without HEU.