The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto) has appointed US company JacobsWyper to lead work on identifying the best model for future nuclear medicine manufacture.

The facility where it currently produces radioisotope generators, Building 23, is approaching the end of its useful life. The building dates from the 1960s and will end its useful life within the next five-ten years. The 2019 federal budget provided funding to support the development of a business case to consider the options available to secure the long-term sustainability of nuclear medicine supply in Australia.  

JacobsWyper will bring in subcontractors with technical, local or other expertise as needed, chief among them being international strategic consultancy firm Predict, Ansto said. JacobsWyper Architects has 35 years’ experience in regulated industries, including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and has previously undertaken feasibility studies for Ansto. Predict Ltd is composed of nuclear medicine industry professionals.

Under all scenarios, Ansto will continue to produce bulk molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) from the Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) reactor OPAL and the Ansto nuclear medicine manufacturing facility. Still, distribution through a replaced or refurbished Building 23, or an importation model, will be explored.