ARTMS Products Inc. partners with Alliance Medical to modernize, stabilize UK medical isotope supply chain

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ARTMS Products, Inc., a Vancouver-based medical technology company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Alliance Medical to enable and demonstrate an alternative, non-reactor supply of technetium-99m (Tc-99m) within the United Kingdom. ARTMS will provide to Alliance the hardware, know-how, and proprietary consumables to gain regulatory marketing approval within the UK and subsequently implement commercial supply of accelerator-, or cyclotron-produced Tc-99m. This technology will enable a reduction in the reliance in the UK of foreign, subsidized, reactor-based medical isotope production; enhancing supply reliability and eliminating the use of enriched uranium as a source of life-saving medical isotopes. 

Tc-99m is used in over 80% of all nuclear medicine imaging procedures in areas such as cardiology, oncology, and neurology. Typically sourced from an ageing fleet of global nuclear reactors, this important isotope has been subjected to significant supply disruptions in recent years. ARTMS’s technology to produce Tc-99m using medical cyclotrons is a viable alternative and forges a path to securing a safe, reliable, and environmentally sound supply of a critical medical isotope for the future.

Howard Marsh of Alliance Medical commented, “At Alliance, we have long felt that the UK will benefit by implementing an alternative, non-reactor source of such an important medical radioisotope such as technetium that will supplement the existing production methods to provide surety of supply. With ARTMS’ technology, we are proud to announce that Alliance is, once again, at the leading edge of healthcare innovation in the UK and will enable access to Tc-99m irrespective of the global reactor status.”

ARTMS holds the global patent rights for a breakthrough technology involving the design and manufacturing of a novel target system and the associated target plates for commercial-scale production of Tc-99m on cyclotrons. The key components of ARTMS’s technology portfolio are target plates that have been coated, using proprietary methods, with non-radioactive molybdenum-100. This process avoids the use of enriched uranium, and also produces no long-lived radioactive waste.   

“Today marks the completion of a major milestone as we move to implement an alternative and decentralized production method that can produce Tc-99m daily using cyclotrons that are installed around the world. Our partnership with Alliance marks the beginning of a new era in Tc-99m production and supply security for the UK." said Dr. Paul Schaffer, CEO of ARTMS. “With Alliance, ARTMS will demonstrate this technology in the UK with the ultimate goal of enabling Tc-99m supply on any cyclotron around the world. Those regions choosing this solution will eliminate their reliance on both nuclear reactors and enriched uranium for medical isotope production.”

The ARTMS technology includes all the required products and procedures for the production of Tc-99m using cyclotrons and enables the production of valuable isotopes through the bombardment of a high-energy proton beam against specific chemical ‘targets’. The worldwide installed base of cyclotrons exceeds 550 units with approximately 5 – 10 new units per annum. ARTMS is the world-wide leader in the development and commercialization of this novel technology. 

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