Nordion is a global health science company that provides market-leading products used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. They are a leading provider of medical isotopes, targeted therapies and sterilization technologies that benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries around the world. Nordion provides more molybdenum-99 used in the manufacture of technetium-99m generators than any other company in the world. Technetium is the primary isotope used in millions of nuclear procedures every year.
The first therapeutic isotope Nordion produced at the Vancouver facility was Palladium-103 used in prostate brachytherapy. This isotope was developed in conjunction with TRIUMF using the first TR30 cyclotron, a cyclotron based on a TRIUMF design. Nordion’s new state-of-the-art commercial cyclotron facility at TRIUMF was completed on January 30, 2003. In May 2003, the company started using a second, newly purchased TR-30 cyclotron. Subsequently, with the official activation of the second beam in September 2003, Nordion has been able to double its production capacity of the Palladium-103 radioisotope. This improved production capability from the new machine is estimated to provide additional products for up to one million nuclear medicine procedures around the world each year.
Nordion has licensed medical isotope production knowledge from TRIUMF. In addition, the three small cyclotrons Nordion uses for isotope production are owned and operated, under contract, by TRIUMF. A low-energy proton beam from the main TRIUMF cyclotron is also used to produce heart-imaging isotopes for Nordion. These activities generate royalty income for TRIUMF and help Nordion compete in the global market.
TRIUMF and Nordion won the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) 2004 Synergy Award for Innovation for their outstanding 26-year university-industry partnership.