‘Petten’ starts production of medical isotope xenon-133


Xenon package

Thanks to intensive collaboration between Curium (formerly the nuclear business of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals) and NRG in Petten, a complex project has been brought to a successful conclusion: the development and installation of a production process for the medical isotope xenon-133. This isotope has been shown to be valuable for diagnostic inhalation studies for the evaluation of pulmonary function, for imaging the lungs and may also be applied to assessment of cerebral blood flow.

The new medical isotope can be produced during the existing molybdenum production process in Petten. Curium's molybdenum production process takes place in an NRG laboratory, under NRG's Nuclear Energy Act permit, which made the collaboration between Curium and NRG a fact from the beginning. "After significant R&D efforts, it was possible to safely capture radioactive xenon gas from our molybdenum process and purify it," says Frank de Lange, director of Curium in Petten. "In order to be able to supply this new product, NRG's existing molybdenum production facility was adapted and NRG made a change to the permit."

"It is a valuable addition to the diversity of medical isotopes produced here in Petten", says Philippe Brouwers, business director at NRG. "This is a good example of how Petten anticipates on the demand for different isotopes."

Curium in Petten sends the product to its sister company Curium in the USA, where the purified bulk is converted to the finished product. Hospitals in the US have been able to order the product starting May 10.

“We are pleased to provide our customers with a LEU based choice when selecting Xenon Xe 133 Gas to help diagnose patient disease for approved indications,” said Curium North American CEO, Dan Brague, “As a global leader in nuclear medicine, Curium’s commitment to the industry is evidenced by our ongoing investments in our product portfolio, including making LEU based Xenon Xe 133 Gas available to clinicians across the U.S., with a focus on reliable, long-term supply.”