IRE well positioned to develop waste-free, non-fission medical isotopes
IRE signs agreement with ASML and receives subsidy from Belgian Federal Government
Fleurus, Belgium 19 October 2018 - IRE (Institut National des Radioéléments, Fleurus, Belgium) has entered into a joint development agreement with ASML (one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment). The agreement will allow IRE with the support of ASML to further develop and build an electron beamline that will be used to manufacture the medical isotope molybdenum 99 (Mo-99) in a new production process that is non-fission and waste-free. Mo-99 is used for diagnosing tens of millions people annually, making it the most commonly used medical radioisotope.
The agreement includes multi-year technology support by ASML experts and use of IP. In addition, the Belgium federal government has approved a subsidy of up to 52 million euros for the development phase (design and testing) of the technology, which will take place during 2018 till 2020.
Erich Kollegger, General Manager of IRE says: “We are excited about this innovative technology and IRE envisages to use this beamline for all our demand for the medical isotope Mo-99, phasing out the fission-based production process. We plan to start building the facility in the course of 2020 at our site in Fleurus and expect to start production of Mo-99 in 2024.”
Frits van Hout, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at ASML adds: “Since we are a semiconductor equipment company, medical isotopes do not fit our strategy. Nevertheless, we did not want to shelve our invention and have been looking for a suitable partner for some time, inside and outside of the Netherlands. We are grateful to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for naming this innovative technology (LightHouse) a National Icon in 2016. This gave us the support and visibility we needed. We are proud to now make the technology available to IRE.”
IRE, the Institut National des Radioéléments, is a public utility foundation whose main activity is the production of radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the area of nuclear medicine. It is a global leader in the production of Molybdenum-99, the “parent” isotope of metastable Technetium-99 and the most widely used in nuclear medicine for numerous examinations (heart, bones, lungs, thyroid, brain, kidneys, etc.).
Further information is available at www.ire.eu
ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Our vision is a world in which semiconductor technology is everywhere and helps to tackle society’s toughest challenges. We contribute to this goal by creating products and services that let chipmakers define the patterns that integrated circuits are made of. We continuously raise the capabilities of our products, enabling our customers to increase the value and reduce the cost of chips. By helping to make chips cheaper
and more powerful, we help to make semiconductor technology more attractive for a larger range of products and services, which in turn enables progress in fields such as healthcare, energy, mobility and entertainment. ASML is a multinational company with offices in 60 cities in 16 countries, headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. We employ more than 21,000 people on payroll and flexible contracts (expressed in full time equivalents). ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ under the symbol ASML. More information about ASML, our products and technology, and career opportunities is available on www.asml.com.
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