Electron Beam Accelerators

Workers lower one of two electron beam accelerators at the Northstar Medical Radioisotope facility in Beloit. Northstar took delivery of the two accelerators in April and the company now has ordered a third accelerator.

BELOIT—NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC will be purchasing a third Rhodotron® TT300 HE electron beam accelerator from IBA.

The accelerator will be exclusively used for the production of no-carrier added (n.c.a.) actinium-225 (Ac-225), an important therapeutic radioisotope that is in highly limited supply and for which no commercial-scale production technology currently exists. NorthStar previously purchased two Rhodotron® accelerators from IBA for its newly completed molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production facility in Beloit. Mo-99 is a medical imaging isotope used in diagnostic procedures for cancer and heart patients.

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes in Beloit took delivery of two custom-built, 24-ton electron beam accelerators in April of this year. The accelerators were produced in Belgium.

“We look forward to continuing to work with IBA, who have shown extensive commercial expertise and excellent performance in delivering electron beam accelerators for our Mo-99 production expansion project,” said Stephen Merrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthStar. “NorthStar is at the forefront of U.S. radioisotope production as the only commercialized producer of the diagnostic imaging radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). We are applying that same development expertise to rapidly advance large-scale availability of the therapeutic radioisotope Ac-225 for use in oncology and other indications, and we are excited about its potential in these disease areas.”

Olivier Legrain, Chief Executive Officer of IBA commented, “We are delighted to sign this latest contract with NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes and to continue to deliver innovative solutions for reliable radioisotope supply. IBA’s Rhodotron® accelerators provide the most advanced electron accelerator technology in the world, and we are excited for the opportunity to create new therapeutic radioisotopes such as Ac-225. With its radiotheranostic capabilities, combining targeted diagnosis and therapy, we believe that this radioisotope has significant potential in the treatment of cancer.”

The final stage of facility design is underway for NorthStar’s state-of-the-art Therapeutic Radioisotope production facility, which will be exclusively dedicated to Ac-225 production, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2022. Initial production of Ac-225 is planned for late 2023, and a Drug Master File will be submitted to the FDA in 2024. NorthStar’s proprietary process for the production of Ac-225 will use IBA’s Rhodotron® to enable commercial-scale n.c.a. Ac-225 production that is free of long-life radioactive byproducts associated with other production methods.

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes started construction of its Beloit facility on Gateway Boulevard in Beloit in 2014. The Beloit facility employs about 150 people.