Product Innovation

Currently, radioisotopes are produced using nuclear reactors, which comes with many security, supply, and environmental concerns. Our product is made by bombarding a small metal target (Mo-100) with beams of X-rays. The process pushes out one neutron from the Mo-100 atoms, creating Mo-99.  Over a short period of time, these isotopes decay to become the diagnostic isotope Tc-99m.

Similar production facilities exist, but CII is the first to successfully produce Mo-99.Tc-99m at a commercial scale. By 2020 CII will reliably supply a substantial portion of Canada and the United States’ radioisotope requirements.

Unlike current reactor-based isotopes, our production process creates minimal nuclear by-products, and much of the parent atoms and materials can be recycled to be used again, eliminating waste. 

Our Product

Radioisotopes are a key component in medical imaging and other forms of nuclear medicine. Many treatments use radioisotopes to provide information about the functioning of specific organs within the human body. Radioisotopes allow physicians to diagnose a variety of ailments, including issues with thyroid, bones, heart, liver and many other organs. Radioisotopes are key components of modern medicine and there is large worldwide demand for these isotopes. Over 10,000 hospitals worldwide use them daily. 90% of the isotopes are used for diagnosis. The radioisotope market is a nearly $5 billion dollar industry that grows by up to 10% each year.

CII currently only produces Technetium-99 (Tc-99m), but it is the most common radioisotope used in diagnosis procedures. It is used in 80% of diagnostic tests. Nearly 17 million procedures using Tc-99m are performed each year in the United States and 1.3 million are performed in Canada.

Our Process

Our Process

We process Tc-99m by blasting complete atoms of molybdenum-100 (Mo-100) with a high-energy x-ray. The process removes a neutron from Mo-100, which creates Mo-99 isotopes. The Mo-99 then decays into Tc-99m, which radio-pharmacists then use to prepare tracers. These tracers help see not only the structure of internal organs, but how well they are functioning. Radioisotopes are administered in minuscule doses and leave the body rapidly.

Other alternative production methods produce impure Tc-99m. More must be injected, which requires larger doses, and the resulting images are not as clear, meaning life-threatening ailments may not be detected. CII’s Tc-99m is just as pure and effective as conventional reactor radioisotopes, but without the harmful environmental effects and political concerns.

Our Innovation

To this day, the world’s supply of radioisotopes is produced in a handful of unreliable nuclear reactors. At these facilities, Mo-99 is collected as a by-product of the fission of potentially dangerous weapons grade uranium. Security concerns aside, the world has experienced continual supply shortages due to the degeneration of these old facilities. Our innovation is creating a new radioisotope production process that is cleaner, more reliable, more diversified, and more easily scalable than reactor based production.

A linear accelerator, often referred to as a LINAC, is a particle accelerator that fires electrons, neutrons, or protons in a straight line. Though researchers have had the ability to produce radioisotopes with the technology for decades, there were concerns about whether LINAC’s would ever be able to produce an economically competitive product at scale. CII has solved those challenges.

CII was able to achieve this by commercializing state-of-the-art research and technology created by The Canadian Lightsource (CLS). Our proprietary LINAC technology and production methods were developed with the support of the Government of Canada, who provided funding to create alternative medical isotope production methods. Several competing potential solutions were funded to address radioisotope supply shortages in Canada and the world. CII’s LINAC based method showed the most potential and is the first viable large-scale production alternative.

Our proprietary solution can produce pure Mo-99 at a lower cost per dose than competing technologies, due to lower distribution and processing costs. Furthermore, our production facilities are more easily scalable than reactors and more supply can be brought online to meet growing world demand,

CII Tc-99m is undergoing clinical trials and will soon be available for purchase.

Contact us for more information!