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Bruce Power and its partners celebrate one year of providing cancer-fighting lutetium-177 using game-changing Isotope Production System

Press Release

2023-10-24

Bruce Power and its partners, Isogen (a Kinectrics and Framatome company), ITM, and Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), mark the one-year anniversary of successfully supplying cancer-fighting lutetium-177 across the globe using the innovative Isotope Production System (IPS).

With the production of lutetium-177 in 2022, Bruce Power’s Unit 7 is the first commercial power reactor in the world capable of producing short-lived medical isotopes. During the first year of production, Bruce Power and its partners implemented a number of enhancements to increase supply. Together, they continue to invest in building isotope production capacity to ensure that physicians and patients have access to a reliable, consistent and scalable source of isotopes to meet growing demand.

“In conjunction with our partners, the implementation of our unique Isotope Production System has helped to secure a steady supply of cancer-fighting lutetium-177 for the world health care community,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power President and Chief Executive Officer. “By leveraging Bruce Power’s continual operations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we are able to supply cancer-fighting isotopes in a much larger production capacity than traditional research reactors, and we are cementing Ontario and Canada’s role as a medical isotope super-power.”

This vital supply of medical isotopes to the world health-care systems was made possible through partnerships with Isogen, which designed and manufactured the IPS and with ITM, which processes and distributes medical isotopes. Bruce Power also collaborates with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) to jointly market the isotope supply in an equity partnership.

“Our IPS partnership has taken great strides in creating a secure supply of lutetium-177 for cancer patients,” said John D’Angelo, President of Isogen. “Over the past year, Isogen’s proprietary production technology, the reliability of Bruce Power reactors, and ITM’s patented processing technology and industry-leading supply network have combined to provide stable and secure access to these critically important medical isotopes.”

Since completion of last year’s installation, Bruce Power has successfully shipped isotopes generated from its station to ITM’s manufacturing facility in Germany for processing pharmaceutical-grade, non-carrier-added lutetium-177 (n.c.a. lutetium-177).  ITM is the leading supplier of n.c.a. lutetium-177 to health-care facilities around the world. The isotope is successfully being used in various clinical and commercial radiopharmaceutical cancer treatments.

“ITM is proud to partner with Bruce Power and Isogen on this innovative project that provides much-needed n.c.a. lutetium-177 to help treat a range of cancers world-wide,” said Steffen Schuster, CEO at ITM. “We’re excited about the capabilities of the IPS system as we look to scale our global production capabilities to help meet the growing demand of the medical community to treat patients across the globe.”

Bruce Power, ITM and Isogen recently implemented an isotope target innovation that will increase the amount of ytterbium-176 inside each target that is sent into the Bruce Unit 7 reactor core to be irradiated into lutetium-177. It is the first part of a phased approach to expand the capacity for Unit 7’s production of the medical isotope, which will be fully realized next year.

Bruce Power’s equity partnership with SON is named Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin, which means Fighting Cancer Together, insupport of the global fight against cancer while creating new economic opportunities within the SON territory.

“We’re pleased that our Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin partnership with Bruce Power is giving patients around the world access to cancer-fighting treatments,” said Chief Greg Nadjiwon, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

“We are proud to be a part of the global fight against cancer and a partnership that will also deliver benefits in our local communities,” said Chief Conrad Ritchie, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation.

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