INVAP Chosen as Designer and General Contractor for Florida (EEUU)
INVAP S.E. has signed with Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp., a medical isotope company working to become the first U.S. commercial producer of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99)a contract to design its Medical Isotope Production Facility (“MIPF”) in Alachua, Florida.
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of Technetium-99, which is used in 80 percent of nuclear medicine procedures worldwide. In 2012, Congress passed legislation making it a national priority to produce Mo-99, an isotope necessary to detect a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Argentine nuclear engineering firm INVAP has been involved in nuclear development for more than 30 years. During that time it has worked on more than 15 nuclear reactors and related facilities across the world, including several reactors used to produce medical isotopes. Among these is the OPAL reactor in Australia, the ETRR-2 reactor in Egypt, and the NUR reactor in Algeria. Coquí Pharma’s MIPF will use an open pool reactor technology similar to that employed in the INVAP-designed OPAL facility in Australia.
“The signing of this contract cements a key step in implementing proven technology to produce Mo-99 for patients requiring lifesaving medical diagnostics,” said Carmen I. Bigles, Coquí Pharma President and CEO. “Today, Coquí Pharma together with INVAP have built a bridge between the U.S. and Argentina, uniting our efforts to ensure the availability and reliability of the most essential radioisotope in nuclear medicine and with the added benefit of making the world a safer place for generations to come by utilizing proven non-proliferation,low-enriched uranium technologies.”
Coquí Pharma is preparing its construction permit applicationfor submission to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.Coquí Pharma will utilize existing commercially proven technology with tested designs to license and build a facility that has the capability of reliably supplying a large portion of the U.S. market and international needs.
Due to recent and future projected shortages, the issue of U.S. domestic medical isotope production has been discussed at great length within the industry and U.S. federal government.Coquí Pharma reviewed options available to manufacture Mo-99 and determined that only the INVAP process provides a real, tangible and reliable solution to solve the medical isotope crisis