Canada’s Bruce Power broke new ground in isotope production, the company said this week, by producing Lutetium-177 in a commercial nuclear power plant.
The isotope, also referred to as Lu-177, was produced in Unit 7 at the companies plant in Ontario, Canada. Equipment to process the isotope was installed in the reactor at a recent maintenance shutdown.
“The IPS (Isotope Production System) successfully irradiated targets to produce lutetium-177, a medical isotope used n precision oncology for targeted therapy of a growing number of cancers,” Bruce Power said. “Lutetium-177 based treatments are designed to precisely target malignant cells while sparring surrounding healthy tissues.”
The project was pulled off by an international team including Kinectics of Canada, Framatome of France and ITM Isotope Technologies Munich of Germany.
“Bruce Power and our partners at Isogen, ITM, and Saugeen Ojibway Nation are thrilled to have reached this exciting milestone, bringing our partnership project to its final phase as we complete commissioning and approach commercial operations,” said James Scongack, Bruce Power’s Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President, Operational Services.
As part of commissioning activities, ytterbium-176 was successfully irradiated using the IPS, designed and installed by Isogen, to produce lutetium-177.
These isotopes were then sent to ITM in Germany for processing, using its proprietary manufacturing methodology and industrial scale production capacities yielding high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade no-carrier-added lutetium-177 (n.c.a. lutetium-177), which ITM provides to health care facilities around the world.
“Following commissioning of the IPS, physicians and their patients worldwide will have access to a new, dependable supply of lutetium-177 for their cancer treatments,” said David Harris, CEO on Kinectrics. “Moreover, through our partner ITM, pharmaceutical developers can rely on a large-scale supply of lutetium-177 for their clinical trials and commercial products.
The marketing approach is also groundbreaking. Bruce Power will market the new isotope supply in an historic collaboration partnership with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). The partnership project with SON, named Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin, includes an equity stake for SON and a revenue-sharing program that provides a direct benefit to the community.
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