NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes To Suspend Production of Mo-99

October 6, 2023

In Brief

  • NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes (Beloit, Wisconsin) will suspend manufacturing and commercialization of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) at the end of 2023.
  • Given the challenging market conditions, the company said, its Mo-99 business is no longer sustainable.
  • The company will shift its focus to actinium-225 (Ac-225) and copper-67 (Cu-67).
  • Read more.

Why It’s Important

  • Molybdenum-99 decays into technetium, and technetium-99m is used in more than 40,000 medical procedures each day in the U.S. to diagnose heart disease and cancer.
  • NorthStar is one of the primary producers of Mo-99 in the United States.


  • The Canadian Chalk River reactor was shut down for repairs and maintenance in 2009, creating a world shortage of technetium-99m.
  • Subsequently, the United States passed the American Medical Isotopes Production Act (AMIPA) in 2012 with the aim of supporting domestic production of Mo-99 without the use of highly-enriched uranium.
  • The National Nuclear Security Administration implemented the Molybdenum-99 Program, with 50/50 cost-sharing agreements to support the establishment of a domestic supplier.
  • NorthStar is one of the companies that benefited from that support. The company has been producing Mo-99 for 5 years.

What SNMMI Is Doing

  • SNMMI has reached out and evaluated the impact, and it doesn’t appear there will be any shortage of material.

What’s Next

  • NorthStar will reach out to its nuclear pharmacy customers to help them transition to other suppliers and ensure continued supply.