Shine Announces New Funding Total, Says Building Plans Are On Track

Shine Medical Technologies, a Madison, WI-based startup that’s part of the race to produce a vital medical isotope domestically, has now raised nearly $50 million in total, vice president of business development Katrina Pitas said in an e-mail.

In October, Greg Piefer, Shine’s founder and CEO, told Xconomy the company had raised about $45 million to date.

Shine is aiming to build a production facility in Janesville, WI, where it will make molybdenum-99, which in turn is used to produce technetium-99m, the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging.

In a document filed with the SEC Tuesday, Shine said it had raised more than $11.5 million in debt financing, in what Pitas called a post-Series A, pre-Series B “bridge round.” The company’s previous funding rounds have included a combination of debt and equity, according to regulatory documents.

Pitas said the round was a few years in the making—records show Shine last submitted a funding-related form to the SEC in 2012—and that $3.7 million of the total was raised in 2015. Separately, last year Shine received $2.7 in reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, she said.

Among the participants in the recently announced debt round were Wisconsin Investment Partners, the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, and angel investors such as Fred Mancheski, Pitas said. She declined to share Shine’s timeline for repaying investors. The latest funding round didn’t bring any changes to Shine’s board, she said.

Before it can start building its new facility, Shine must first obtain a construction permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Pitas said some of the money raised in the debt round has helped support that effort.

“The funding has allowed us to complete our final hearing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December and will allow us to continue to refine the design as we prepare for construction,” she said.

Shine expects to receive the permit by March, break ground sometime in 2017, and begin producing molybdenum-99 in 2018, she said.

In 2014, Shine signed a non-exclusive supply agreement with GE Healthcare, which makes containers in which the medical isotope decays into technetium-99m. Two months ago, the companies announced that they successfully produced technetium-99m at a lab in the UK. However, given molybdenum-99’s relatively short half-life of 66 hours, producing the radioisotope domestically is still seen as a potential game-changer for Shine, its competitors, and the U.S. healthcare system.

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