Research on Solution to Medical Isotope Crisis Acccelerates: Advanced Cyclotron Systems Works with Two Canadian Research Organizations to Test New Sources for Tc-99m production
(RICHMOND, B.C.) – A private company is working in partnership with two of Canada's leading nuclear medicine research centres to develop a solution to the medical isotope crisis for wide spread use.
Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc. (ACSI) a leading manufacturer of cyclotrons for the production of medical radioisotopes announced today that it has sold two TR-24 cyclotrons to the University of Alberta's Department of Oncology in Edmonton and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in Quebec.
"Over the past 20 years, ACSI has worked to design and manufacture the most reliable biomedical cyclotrons with the highest production available," says Richard Eppich, Chief Executive Officer of ACSI. "With these latest contracts we’re excited to be positioned as part of a pan-Canadian team working on a new solution to our current medical isotope shortage."
ACSI will work closely with researchers at each institute towards using these new cyclotrons for the production of the medical isotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the isotope currently in shortage due to reactor shutdowns around the world. Tc-99m is used for diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of diseases, including heart problems and several forms of cancer.
"We have already proved that cyclotron technology can produce Tc-99m. This new cyclotron will enable us to continue our research into cyclotron-produced Tc-99m in the hopes of alleviating the strain currently on the system," says Dr. Brigitte Guérin from the CHUS.
Dr. Steve McQuarrie from the University of Alberta agrees. "We feel this new technology will allow us to play a major role in bringing cyclotron-produced Tc-99m to the market in a cost-effective and timely fashion."
In March, the Federal Government announced its intention to support the research into how cyclotrons can be a part of the solution to the current medical isotope crisis.
"The Federal Government is moving quickly to invest money ear-marked in its latest budget for Canadian research and development aimed at solving the medical isotope shortage," concludes Eppich. "We’re confident that with ongoing support and hard work, we can solve this world wide problem with new, made in Canada technology."
ACSI expects to have the new cyclotrons built and operating within a year; preliminary experiments on Tc-99m production are already underway using smaller cyclotrons.
About Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc
Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc. is the leading manufacturer of high output cyclotrons for the international nuclear medicine community. ACSI continues to build on its industry dominant position, having supplied and installed all of the SPECT cyclotrons sold in North America in the past 15 years. It is estimated that over 90% of the cyclotron produced SPECT radioisotopes used in North America are produced using ACSI cyclotrons. ACSI customers include many of the world’s major radioisotope producers, such as MDS Nordion, Covidien, and GE Healthcare.
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