BWXT Medical, Ltd. (BWXT) is a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government; provides technical, management and site services to support governments in the operation of complex facilities and environmental remediation activities. BWXT also supplies precision manufactured components, services and CANDU® fuel for the commercial nuclear power industry. In addition, through its recent acquisition of Sotera Health’s Nordion medical isotope business, located in both Kanata, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia, BWXT is now a global supplier of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals.
BWXT’s collaboration with TRIUMF dates back to September 1978 and the first therapeutic isotope 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.
BWXT’s state-of-the-art commercial cyclotron facility at TRIUMF was completed on January 30, 2003. In May 2003, the company added a third cyclotron, a new, TR-30 machine to meet the increased market demand for medical isotopes. Subsequently, with the official activation of the second beam in September 2003, BWXT has been able to double its production capacity. This improved production capability is estimated to provide additional products for up to one million nuclear medicine procedures around the world each year. Most recently, BWXT announced that they will produce, their first, generic radiopharmaceutical, In-111 oxine. In-111 oxine is used to image inflammatory processes and detect difficult abscessed or other types of infection.
BWXT has licensed medical isotope production knowledge from TRIUMF. In addition, the three small cyclotrons BWXT uses for isotope production are operated, under contract, by TRIUMF. A low-energy proton beam from the main TRIUMF cyclotron is also used to produce heart-imaging isotopes for BWXT. These activities generate royalty income for TRIUMF and help BWXT compete in the global market.
BWXT’s entrance into the radiopharmaceutical industry began with the announcement of their patent-pending technology for producing molybdenum-99, after which they completed the acquisition of Sotera Health’s Nordion medical isotope business.