Covidien Receives FDA Approval for South African-Produced Medical Isotope Based on Low-Enriched Uranium
ST. LOUIS, Mar 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Covidien (NYSE: COV), a leading global provider of healthcare products, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) derived from low-enriched uranium (LEU) in the production of technetium-99m (Tc-99m) generators. Tc-99m is a medical isotope, utilized in over 80% of all nuclear medicine studies, supplied to hospitals and nuclear pharmacies by Covidien's Mallinckrodt business.
Tc-99m is produced when Mo-99 decays following uranium irradiation. The approval by the FDA allows use of LEU-based Mo-99 supplied by South Africa's NTP Radioisotopes, Ltd., a subsidiary of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, in Tc-99m generator production at Covidien's Maryland Heights, MO, manufacturing facility.
Tc-99m is a critical medical isotope used in diagnostic and functional studies of organs and anatomical systems. The information from these studies is used by many medical specialists (including radiologists, cardiologists, nephrologists and oncologists) to better diagnose and treat patients. More than 30 million nuclear medicine procedures are performed worldwide each year using Tc-99m, more than half in the United States.
"This FDA approval represents another step in our commitment to move toward LEU conversion in the production of Mo-99 and Tc-99m," said Elaine Haynes, Vice President and General Manager, Imaging, Americas.
In January, 2009, the Company launched a collaborative effort with Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group (B&W) to develop solution-based reactor technology for LEU-based medical isotope production, a unique approach designed to provide an efficient domestic supply source. The project combines Covidien's expertise in radiopharmaceutical production and global regulatory approvals with B&W's patented liquid phase nuclear technology. Covidien is also developing plans for conversion of its Mo-99 processing facility in Petten, the Netherlands, to facilitate use of LEU.
Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in three segments: Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies. With 2010 revenue of $10.4 billion, Covidien has approximately 42,000 employees worldwide in more than 60 countries, and its products are sold in over 140 countries. Please visit www.covidien.com to learn more about our business.
Forward Looking Statements
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