Lab Canada

New cyclotron boosts medical isotope availability

Vancouver, BC June 17, 2003 Medical isotope supplier MDS Nordion says it has started commercial production at its TR-30-2 cyclotron in Vancouver. Authorized by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for production of medical isotopes, the cyclotron is now the third at MDS Nordion’s Vancouver TRIUMF site.

The new cyclotron will meet the current demand for the critical, short-lived radioisotopes that are used in many diagnostic and therapeutic medical applications. It also responds to the growing demand for medical isotopes such as iodine-123 (I-123), palladium-103 (Pd-103), thallium-201 (Tl- 201), and indium-111 (In-111) with further production capacity.

At the Vancouver operation, medical isotopes are produced and processed seven days a week and delivered to radiopharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, research institutes, hospitals and clinics around the world. The new C$20-million project also includes an expansion of the site’s processing facility, with new hot cells, shielded caves with target stations, and new development space.

The new cyclotron will produce a broad range of medical isotopes, including I-123, Pd-103, Tl-201 and In-111. I-123. The company says the cyclotron also strengthens its ability to back up in-house production of Tl-201 radiopharmaceutical manufacturers.

For over 20 years, MDS Nordion has partnered with TRIUMF (Tri-University Meson Facility) at the University of British Columbia to create a collaborative research and production site for cyclotron-produced isotopes. The collaboration is focused on developing new types of targets, new calibration sources, cyclotron enhancements and an expanded product line. The collaboration has produced several pioneering developments, including the production of high-purity I-123 from a xenon gas target, and a patented high- volume production method for Pd-103.