Ottawa puts the call out for new medical isotopes supply program

The Government of Canada today issued a call for project proposals for its new $35-million medical isotopes supply program. The program, announced in Budget 2010, will promote new sources of medical isotopes supply over both the medium and long term.

“The Government of Canada is laying the groundwork for a more secure and sustainable supply of medical isotopes,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources. “Based on the advice of the Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production, we are taking steps to help ensure that the needs of all Canadians are met.”

The $35 million in funding will be provided over two years to advance linear accelerator and cyclotron technologies for the production of the medical isotope technetium-99m. These technologies were viewed by the Expert Review Panel as having the greatest potential as alternative sources of supply. Funding will target projects that demonstrate a broad-based expertise to address research, development, demonstration, regulatory and commercialization issues.

“Canada has some of the greatest minds in the world and is a pioneer in medical isotope development,” said Minister Paradis. “We are investing in Canadian innovation to ensure that we remain a global technological leader.”

The Government of Canada will continue to address short-term isotope supply issues by working in close collaboration with our international partners as well as the medical community, the provinces and territories. This remains a global issue that requires a global solution, and Canada has spearheaded work through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to make the global supply of medical isotopes more secure and predictable worldwide.

Edited by Tapa Menon

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