US Shine Medical Technologies broke ground on 9 May on their first medical isotope production facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. “Construction of the Janesville production facility is a critical step toward establishing a reliable global supply of life-saving diagnostic and therapeutic isotopes for patients around the world,” said Shine founder and CEO Greg Piefer.
The groundbreaking followed the recent transfer of 91 acres of land from the City of Janesville located across from the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport. Once complete, the 43,000 square foot facility will house eight of Shine’s accelerator-based medical isotope production systems, capable of producing over one-third of global demand for molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
Shine, founded in 2010, is a development-stage company working toward becoming a manufacturer of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. It says its patented, proprietary manufacturing process offers major advantages over existing and proposed production technologies, because it does not require a nuclear reactor, uses less electricity, generates less waste and is compatible with the US supply chain for molybdenum-99. In 2014, SHINE announced the execution of molybdenum-99 supply agreements with GE Healthcare and Lantheus Medical Imaging. In 2015, with the help of Argonne National Laboratory, GE Healthcare demonstrated that Shine molybdenum-99 can act as a drop-in replacement for reactor-based Mo-99. In 2016, SHINE received regulatory approval to construct its facility from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and signed a supply agreement with HTA Co, the largest Chinese distributor of radiopharmaceuticals.
Ground was broken for Building One at the Janesville site in August 2017. Shine announced in February 2018 that it had completed construction and taken occupancy of that building, which will initially be used to house the first fully-integrated, full-size Shine production system. During construction of Shine's main production facility, Building One will be used to train employees and develop operating experience with equipment.
The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has supported Shine with a $25 million cooperative agreement. Industry partners must match any funding amount. Shine was also recently selected with three other US companies to begin negotiations for an additional award of up to $15 million to continue efforts to accelerate the establishment of a domestic supply of Mo-99.
Photo: Groundbreaking for the SHINE faciltiy