PIPE Programs

Isotope Technology Acceleration Program

PIPE signed a $7.46 million repayable contribution agreement with Natural Resources Canada in 2013 under the Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP) to complete a 45-month development project entitled “Commercializing Accelerator Isotope Production for a Secure and Sustainable Supply of Tc-99m”. The total budget for this program is $11.71 M. The additional funds are provided by a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from our partners and collaborators.
The PIPE team has committed to develop a regional supply market for Tc-99m, including:
1. Commercial-scale production of Mo-99 for selected PIPE customers.
2. Processing of Mo-100/Tc-99m at a centralized facility and extracting Tc-99m using a certified Tc-99m generator.
3. Recovering the used Mo-100 and reusing the material for new targets.
4. Completing pre-clinical and clinical evaluations of the radiopharmaceuticals and submitting an application to Health Canada for approval of at least one Tc-99m based radiopharmaceutical
PIPE will continue to work with world-leading research institute Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon on this project. CLS will produce the Mo-99.
“Our objective is to license the purified isotope for patient use and to become a regional supplier of the isotope for healthcare facilities across western Canada and northern Ontario by 2016,” said David Walker, Chair, PIPE. “We have the experts and partners at the table to further develop the technology right here

Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program

PIPE signed a $4 million contribution agreement with Natural Resources Canada in 2010 under the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program (NISP) to complete a 20-month research and development project entitled:

Development of Accelerator Production of Tc-99m for a Secure and Sustainable
Non-Reactor Supply for Canadian Patients

The NISP supported the development of cyclotron and linear accelerator technologies to better understand their commercial viability and to attract private sector investment. The Report of the Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production, released in December 2009, recommended the diversification of the supply chain and highlighted the potential of cyclotron and linear accelerator technologies. The Program was part of a $48-million investment in medical isotopes announced by the Government of Canada in Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth.

The PIPE project brought together a broad range of scientific, technological, medical and business expertise from across the country. The project optimized the production of Mo-99 using a linear electron accelerator, with a focus on target and converter optimization for supplying commercial quantities of Tc-99m. The results of the project allowed the Government of Canada to determine the potential of non-reactor-based isotope production technologies and laid the groundwork for a more secure and sustainable supply of medical isotopes in the future.

Benefits to Canada

  • A better understanding of alternate sources of Mo-99/Tc-99m;
  • The advancement of a production process that largely eliminates the production of radioactive wastes;
  • Preparation for supply of Tc-99m beyond the planned cessation of Mo-99 production by the National Research Universal reactor in 2016;
  • Support of nuclear non-proliferation goals related to the decreased use of highly enriched uranium;
  • A more reliable and diversified Canadian supply chain for Tc-99m;
  • Potential economic benefits to Canadian companies through the export of technology and services; and
  • An increased research capacity in Canada.