CII sponsors 20/20 Health Vision Conference
CII is pleased to present at, and to be a sponsor of the 2017 edition of the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce’s 20/20 Health Vision Conference Series June 23-24, 2017 at the Hotel Bessborough, Saskatoon. The conference focuses on “Exploring Health Market Opportunities”, and is partnered this year with the Saskatoon Jazz Festival, June 23 – July 2, 2017. Further information www.healthops.ca/pages/2017_conference_program.html, www.saskjazz.com
Continuing the momentum of Saskatchewan’s prominence in the international radioisotope scene, Saskatoon’s Canadian Isotopes Innovation (CII) hosted the inaugural 2016 Saskatchewan Isotopes Summit on Thursday, September 22 at the Sheraton Cavalier in Saskatoon.
The summit was created to discuss the current production of medical isotopes in Saskatchewan and its leadership in the medical isotope industry. The summit brought together key stakeholders from businesses and health regions, industry experts, public officials, funding agencies and investors, in the hopes of building partnerships to support and feed the recent expansion of radioisotope development in Saskatchewan.
The 2016 Saskatchewan Isotopes Summit convenor was CII’s COO, Dr. Kennedy Mang’era. Presenters at the summit shared expertise and experiences from a range of backgrounds and included Jim George, CEO of CII, Dr. Rajan Rakheja of the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Health Region Royal University Hospital, Neil Alexander, Executive Director of Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, Andre Gagnon, President of Isologic Innovation Pharmaceuticals and Merritt Kocdag, Policy Strategist at Innovation Saskatchewan. Topics covered the demand for reliable Mo-99 supply, nuclear medicine trends in Saskatchewan, the path of radioisotopes to commercialization and their clinical uses, current and next-generation radio-pharmaceuticals, and the economic and social impacts of the Saskatchewan radioisotope innovations.
A roundtable discussion followed the formative presentations, hosted by Dr. Paul Babyn, the Head of Medical Imaging at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Health Region Royal University Hospital. The lively and informative discussions from the panel had great participation and extremely positive feedback from the approximately 50 attendees from the audience.
Confident in the richness of expertise in the emerging medical radioisotope sector in Saskatchewan, CII intends for the Saskatchewan Isotopes Summit to become an annual event. CII will continue its focus on linking of provincial stakeholders and national and international leaders and providing the summit as a forum for the public and private sectors to discuss advances in radioisotope technologies and their application to patient care nationally and globally.
Canadian Isotopes Innovation, a branch of Canadian Light Source, is a Saskatoon-based organization that produces Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) a specific type of isotope that is used for by pharmaceutical processes for medical diagnostic tests. CII seeks to solve the world’s current medical isotope shortage by using their clean, safe and dependable process to produce a solution to this critical issue in the radio-pharmaceutical industry.
On March 14th, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will hold a Technical Meeting on New Ways of Producing Tc99m and Tc99m Generators at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The purpose of this meeting is to evaluate alternative routes for the production of Tc99m and Mo99; in particular, linear accelerators and generators using low activity Mo99.
The IAEA has reached out to the Government of Canada looking for an expert to represent the country in the meeting. The individual chosen must have an acute knowledge and experience in the production of Mo99/Tc99m and the development of Mo99/Tc99m generators.
Canadian Isotope Innovations (CII) is honoured to announce that Kennedy Mang’era, respected expert in Mo99/Tc99m production and development, Chief Operating Officer for CII, has been chosen as Canada’s participant.
The shortage of isotopes is a global concern. Thanks in part to our amazing CII team, everyday we get a little closer to a safer, more reliable supply.
We are very excited to announce that our talented Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Mark de Jong, has been awarded the prestigious Alumni of the Year award in Physics and Astronomy from his alma mater, the University of Manitoba.
Dr. de Jong has been a driving force behind CIIC since its inception. Prior to his position with us, Dr. de Jong headed up the Canadian Light Source Medical Isotope Project, which developed pilot facilities for the production of Molybdenum-99. Over the past three decades, Dr. de Jong has worked on many high-profile projects that have greatly shaped the world of particle accelerators. CIIC is very lucky to have such a great mind adding to our team.
This award represents Dr. de Jong’s work with accelerator physics over his 11-year education, and a lifetime commitment to innovation in his field.
“He was the driving force behind world-class research facility Canadian Light Source’s novel approach to tackling a global shortage of medical isotopes – due to the impending shut down of aging nuclear reactors around the world – with a safe, uranium-free method. Now de Jong is helping drive Canadian Isotope Innovations Corp. in commercializing those isotopes.”
With the National Reactor Universal (NRU) in Chalk River, Ontario, ceasing routine production of medical isotopes in October 2016, Canada and the world’s supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) is in danger. Nearly 40% of the world’s Mo-99 supply has been produced at Chalk River, and considering that medical isotopes are used in over 18 million diagnostic procedures annually in North America, the health of our community is at risk.
Currently, the majority of Mo-99 is being produced in a few nuclear reactors around the world. These nuclear reactors are fueled with highly enriched uranium, which raises significant safety concerns as HEU is used to make nuclear weapons as well. Several reactors are upgrading to use low-enriched (LEU) uranium instead. Though LEU cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons, it poses its own risks, including increased costs, more nuclear waste as a by-product and challenges with adapting reactors to use LEU.
With a critical shortage of medical isotopes looming, the industry needs an innovation.
In light of this issue, cutting edge companies are exploring new ways to make isotopes without nuclear reactors or any form of uranium. Recent innovations have led the industry towards particle accelerators. A particle accelerator is a machine that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to nearly the speed of light in a well-defined beam. These machines do not use highly enriched uranium, which makes them a much safer alternative to nuclear reactors.
On December 16th, 2015, the National Academy of Science gathered together top experts to discuss the future of isotope production. The gathering was formed to explore a recent undertaking – a congressionally mandated study titled ‘State of Molybdenum-99 Production and Utilization and Progress toward Eliminating Use of Highly Enriched Uranium’. The study is sponsored by the U.S Department of Energy-National Nuclear Security Administration, and will address the isotope crisis. Additional information about this study can be found at nationalacademies.org. At this influential gathering, Canadian Isotope Innovations was among four companies asked to present possible solutions.
CII’s team took the stage and presented the world’s first commercial-scale solution to produce Mo-99 using a linear accelerator, one that will allow CII to reliably supply a substantial portion to North America by 2020. Unlike reactor-based isotopes, CII’s production process creates no dangerous nuclear by-products, and much of the parent atoms and materials can be recycled to be used again, eliminating waste. CII pairs an innovative production method with a simplified supply chain that allows it to ship pure Mo-99 to radio-pharmacies and hospitals. This halves the conventional reactor supply chain distribution time and greatly reduces the distribution costs.
The invitation to speak at this event was a strong step towards raising awareness of the viability of the linear accelerator method and establishing it as the dominant solution.
CII has created the world’s first commercially viable linear accelerator Mo-99 production method. To learn more about CII’s innovations visit our product page.
See the NAS fact-finding agenda in Canada: https://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/meetingview.aspx?MeetingID=8401&MeetingNo=27
We are new.
We are determined.
We are growing.
At Canadian Isotope Innovations, we are doing something unprecedented. We are producing radioisotopes at a commercial scale safely and reliably without the use of nuclear reactors, and without the harmful waste that process creates. We provide a solution to radioisotope supply shortages, which directly inhibit a doctor’s ability to perform critical, lifesaving diagnostic procedures.
We are motivated by a simple idea: protecting health. We ensure that doctors have the right tools to keep their patients healthy and happy. We provide a better alternative to the outdated nuclear reactor-based radioisotope production method. Most importantly, we look to the future and develop ways to ensure a stable, safe supply of radioisotopes in the 21st century.
Our team is constantly growing, building, and preparing for the future of medical isotope production. We have recently grown in size and are always looking for the best and brightest in the industry to join our focused team.
We set our sights high, aiming for only the cleanest, most reliable solutions. Producing radioisotopes without the use of nuclear reactors ensures that supply chain issues will remain a thing of the past, and CII will continue to look to the future of diagnostic medical isotopes.
Check back here for ongoing updates on the exciting news coming from CII.