As SHINE Medical Technologies works toward building out its future nuclear medicine production facility in Janesville, it also plans to jump-start production of cancer-fighting drugs as part of a new partnership.
SHINE has announced a “multiyear” partnership with the University of Missouri Research Reactor in Columbia, Missouri, to produce lutetium-177 (Lu-177), a drug that shows promise in targeting and treating certain late-stage cancers.
SHINE’s pairing with the university-owned nuclear reactor will allow the company to move forward in commercialization of Lu-177, the company said in a release.
SHINE spokesman Rod Hise said SHINE has been producing Lu-177 on a “small scale” at its nuclear particle accelerator testing facility on Janesville’s south side. That work is being done in tandem with SHINE’s ongoing build-out of a 45,000-square-foot production facility that is slated for completion and commercialization by 2022, the company said.
Hise said the multiyear agreement with the University of Missouri was slated to be formally announced at a national nuclear medicine symposium that rolls out this week.Katrina Pitas, a SHINE vice president and head of SHINE’s therapeutic drugs division, said the partnership with the university reactor comes at a time when SHINE is signaling growth in its customer base—in part through its broadening forays into cancer treatment medicines.
SHINE initially received federal regulatory approval to build its future Janesville plant as a production facility to make the bone and tissue illuminating agent molybdenum-99, but the company also has been working toward production of cancer drugs, including Lu-177. Lu-177 already has been federally approved for use in targeting certain late-stage neuroendocrine cancers.
SHINE said the nuclear medicine also shows promise in the treatment of advanced cancers including metastatic prostate cancer and breast, liver and brain cancers, among others.
Hise said when SHINE’s Janesville production facility is completed, its array of multiple nuclear particle accelerators will be capable of producing 300,000 doses of Lu-177 per year.
“The large-scale lutetium production facility will be another landmark in what is quickly making Janesville a global center of nuclear medicine,” Hise said.