The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian regulatory agency Health Canada have each approved the importation of molybdenum-99 from the Warsaw, Poland-based Maria Research Reactor for use in producing the imaging isotope technetium-99m, according to a news release.
U.S., Canada OK import of molybdenum-99
The uranium byproduct will be imported and used by medical supply company Covidien, Mansfield, Mass., to produce the isotope, which is used in approximately 80% of all nuclear diagnostic tests. The isotope has been in short supply since the shutdown of Canada's Chalk River reactor in February 2009 and subsequent maintenance-related shutdowns of other reactors around the globe.
Last month, Covidien announced it had reached an agreement for the Maria reactor to begin supplying molybdenum-99 for use in manufacturing medical isotopes. The arrangement is expected to supply enough isotopes to produce 1 million imaging studies worldwide over the next six months.
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