Alliance will address looming shortage of this isotope, which is used in nuclear medicine.

Positron Systems signed a letter of intent with Idaho State University (ISU) for the production and distribution of molybdenum-99 (99Mo), a widely used isotope in nuclear medicine. A planned Positron subsidiary in collaboration with the ISU Idaho Accelerator Center will specialize in the production of commercial isotopes using particle accelerators.

“Working side by side with ISU, we intend to replace the foreign supply of 99Mo in the U. S. with a product produced here in Idaho,” remarks T. Erik Oaas, chairman of Positron Systems. Undue reliance on foreign suppliers has put the country’s supply at risk, according to Positron and ISU. Also, there are safety concerns arising from the nuclear reactor-based production method currently employed by all current suppliers, the organizations add.

Scientists at ISU’s Idaho Accelerator Center have developed a method to produce 99Mo and are currently engaged in additional research. Positron Systems has facilities in Boise and Pocatello, Idaho.

Last month, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, identified ISU’s isotope project as one of three priorities for funding through the state’s higher education portion of the federal stimulus package. ISU recently received nearly $1 million in federal appropriation to further the 99Mo research efforts.

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