International Isotopes leaves SNM strengthened by corporate agenda

July 22, 1998

Texas company plans to distribute research isotopesInternational Isotopes marked its Society of Nuclear Medicine conference debut as an exhibitor with a robust corporate agenda. The company highlighted its strategy of manufacturing and providing

Texas company plans to distribute research isotopes

International Isotopes marked its Society of Nuclear Medicine conference debut as an exhibitor with a robust corporate agenda. The company highlighted its strategy of manufacturing and providing support service for bulk radioisotopes, finished radiopharmaceuticals, and medical devices such as iodine-125 seeds.

The Denton, TX-based firm has already signed product agreements with several radiopharmaceutical companies, including Bracco Diagnostics of Princeton, NJ, for which it will produce finished pharmaceuticals at its processing facility in Denton. International Isotopes is also negotiating agreements with several other companies. The company’s processing facility was scheduled to be completed last month, and International Isotopes expects to ship product to Bracco in the fall.

International Isotopes was established in 1995, and soon after acquired a linear accelerator that was originally part of the Superconducting Super Collider project, a mammoth federal research project canceled by Congress in 1993. The firm went public last August in an initial public offering of 2.3 million shares at $9 per share that raised revenues of more than $20 million (SCAN 9/3/97). Since its inception, the company has forged alliances with universities and other institutions as part of its goal to provide research radioisotopes, as well as develop training programs for radiochemists and radiopharmacists.

International Isotopes has marshaled several facilities throughout the U.S. In April, it acquired MAC Isotopes in Idaho, gaining access to a nuclear reactor that is already producing such isotopes as cobalt-60, iridium-192, and strontium-89, and the facility should be able to produce gadolinium-153 (used to calibrate gamma cameras) soon. The company has also signed a 10-year lease with the University of North Texas for use of a cyclotron that will be running by the end of June.

Finally, the company’s linac at Denton should be online by September, producing energy levels of up to 70 million electron volts (MeV) and beam intensities of 1000 microamperes (1 mA). The accelerator will be able to irradiate six targets simultaneously, and will produce isotopes such as iodine-125, whose supply was affected by last month’s AECL strike. Molybdenum is not on the firm’s list of products, although company executives would not rule out the possibility of future moly production.

“We’re looking into other isotopes that MDS Nordion produces to see if we should get into manufacturing those,” said Carl Seidel, president and CEO.

International Isotopes plans to establish sites in Europe and Asia in the next three to five years, and is developing a new high-resolution gamma camera based on an industrial tomography unit patented by Dr. Ira Morgan, the company’s chairman. International Isotopes also has rights to a neutron generator developed by Los Alamos National Laboratories, and plans to build other linear accelerators.