November 14, 2011 — Vol. 27 No. 45
International Isotopes Inc., a leading manufacturer of nuclear medicine products, is pleased to announce it has completed an agreement in principle with Idaho State University to jointly develop processes for the production of Copper-67.
Copper-67 has shown exceptional potential in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma as well as bladder, colorectal, and ovarian cancers. However, it is a difficult isotope to produce and has not been consistently made available in the U.S. This has restricted its evaluation in cancer research and clinical trials.
Idaho State University (ISU) has developed what is believed to be a technologically advanced method for producing the isotope using technologies housed in the Idaho Accelerator Center.
Under the terms of the anticipated definitive agreement, ISU will produce the raw isotope at their accelerator center and International Isotopes will transfer the material to its facility where it will be processed and packaged in its final form. In addition to its work at the accelerator center, ISU is providing the expertise for chemical processing.
International Isotopes will make an in-kind contribution of equipment for the isotope processing, technical support for packaging and shipping, and supporting safety staff. The International Isotopes' facility is specifically licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for this type of activity and its facility is also registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a manufacturing facility for drug products - a classification that will help facilitate the commercial development of the Copper-67 product. The parties expect to have definitive agreements executed within the coming weeks and plan to begin work later this month.
Steve T. Laflin, President and CEO of INIS stated, "We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work so closely with Idaho State University on the development of this important isotope. Copper-67 has shown great promise in the treatment of several cancers and making this isotope readily and reliably available in the U.S. should help provide an additional important weapon in our nation's fight against cancer. In addition to the positive health aspects of this isotope, I think it is especially noteworthy that we have been able to join the resources of an Idaho business and an Idaho university to proactively collaborate on the production of this potentially important medical isotope."
Dr. Arthur C. Vailas, President of ISU stated, "The agreement in principle with International Isotopes is another example of how ISU is leading the way in developing translational, cutting-edge research in the areas of health and nuclear research. The partnership with International Isotopes will provide exciting new, potentially beneficial treatment for those afflicted with various types of cancers. To be able to play a role in treating these diseases is exciting and speaks to the University's role as a distinguished research university leading in opportunity and innovation through research, education and service."