Deerfield Pouring $125M Into WI Startup Shine Medical Technologies
[Updated 10/10/14, 7:55 a.m. See below.] Shine Medical Technologies, the Monona, WI-based startup that aims to be the first domestic producer of medical radioisotopes, said today it has inked an investment deal with New York-based Deerfield Management for up to $125 million.
The investment is a mammoth one for a Wisconsin startup, given that a venture capital deal worth $5 million to $10 million is considered big in these parts. Deerfield’s investment is a combination of equity and debt, with the debt financing being provided in phases based upon Shine hitting certain undisclosed milestones.
Deerfield’s money, along with matching U.S. Department of Energy funds of up to $25 million, will be used to finish the design and construction of Shine’s Janesville, WI, manufacturing plant and to cover costs as the company expands its staff in preparation for commercial production, according to a company press release. The company first must obtain a construction permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which it expects to get in the second half of 2015, Shine vice president of business development Katrina Pitas told Xconomy. Construction of the Janesville facility is expected to begin in 2016, she said. [This paragraph was updated with additional information about plans for the Janesville facility.]
Last month, Shine announced a $2.4 million investment, primarily from unidentified Wisconsin angel investors. That brought Shine’s total capital raised to more than $35 million, but the company noted that it still needed to secure “comprehensive financing” to build a manufacturing facility.
“This is an important step toward complete financing of our North American plant,” Shine CEO Greg Piefer said in today’s press release.
Shine intends to make medical isotopes using particle accelerator-based neutron generator technology developed by Phoenix Nuclear Labs. Piefer founded Phoenix in 2005, and the two companies are housed in the same facility.
Shine would make molybdenum-99, a radioisotope that decays into the diagnostic imaging agent technetium‐99m, the most commonly used medical isotope. Shine is responding to an expected shortage of medical isotopes because there are currently no domestic producers, and many overseas manufacturing facilities are aging.
“We are pleased to help advance and catalyze a solution to the looming U.S. moly-99 supply shortage through our commitment to Shine,” Deerfield partner Steve Hochberg said in the press release. “We are encouraged with the progress that the Shine team has made to date on its novel approach to produce moly-99 from low-enriched uranium.”
Shine isn’t the only company rushing to solve this problem. NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, based in nearby Madison, WI, also plans to build a medical isotope production facility in Beloit, WI. NorthStar broke ground on its facility in July.
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