Framatome and Kinectrics launch joint venture to produce medical isotopes for lifesaving cancer treatments
March 05, 2020
Feb. 28, 2020 – Framatome and Kinectrics announced the launch of Isogen, a joint venture that will provide and support isotope production systems for Bruce Power’s nuclear reactors in Canada to begin the production of Lutetium-177, a medical isotope that is used for a variety of lifesaving cancer treatments.
“Partnering with Kinectrics to launch Isogen marks our commitment to advance isotope development as we continue to work with the team at Bruce Power in the fight against cancer,” said Bernard Fontana, CEO at Framatome. “Together, we are working with Bruce Power to maximize existing infrastructure, already known for producing reliable, low-carbon electricity, and making important, lifesaving medical treatments available to patients around the world.”
“We are proud to have established a new Ontario-based company, Isogen, with our partner, Framatome,” said David Harris, Kinectrics president and CEO. “Together, we will work with Bruce Power to produce lifesaving medical isotopes, specifically Lutetium-177, which will help to advance the global fight against cancer.”
Isogen has partnered with Bruce Power to leverage the scale, redundancy and longevity of the eight-unit facility to anchor a new, global supply of isotopes. Following regulatory and other approvals, the plan will be to begin isotope production in 2022 with the goal of scaling based on demands for Lutetium-177 and other isotopes.
“As home to Ontario’s largest private-sector infrastructure project, we are not only extending our assets to provide low-cost, clean electricity for our families and business, but are also ensuring that we are playing a leadership role in providing the global health community with access to isotopes that are critical to a modern health care system and in the fight against cancer,” said Michael Rencheck, president and CEO of Bruce Power.
Lutetium-177 is a medical isotope that is used in targeted radionuclide therapy for the treatment of a growing number of cancers such as prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumors and bone metastases. The isotope destroys cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected.
Lutetium-177 is produced by exposing Ytterbium-176 to radiation. The Ytterbium-176 source material is sealed in special containers and placed in an isotope production system in one of the Bruce Power reactors for about two weeks. The resulting containers of Lutetium-177 are sent for processing and distribution to health care facilities worldwide.
Isogen will design, supply and support the licensing of the isotope production system to support large-scale production of Lutetium-177 starting in 2022.
Isotopen Technologien München (ITM), a specialized radiopharmaceutical company, will deliver the Ytterbium-176 to the Bruce Power site. Isogen will be responsible for handling and preparing the source material according to ITM requirements.