Shine Medical Raises $2.2M to Stay in Race for Vital Imaging Isotope

Shine Medical Technologies, a Janesville, WI-based company that’s working to resume domestic production of a vital medical isotope, has raised another $2.2 million from investors, says vice president of business development Katrina Pitas.

According to a document filed with federal securities regulators, Shine raised more than $27.1 million in debt financing in January. With the new money, the size of the funding round now stands at $29.3 million. A total of 217 investors participated in the round, according to the latest filing.

Shine is preparing to break ground on a production facility about six miles away from its downtown Janesville headquarters. Its plans for the plant revolve around manufacturing molybdenum-99 there. That isotope is in turn used to produce technetium-99m, the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging. Shine has said it expects to break ground on the facility later this year, produce test batches of isotopes there in 2018, and to be in full commercial production by 2019.

Molybdenum-99 was last manufactured in the U.S. more than two decades ago. Shine and some of its competitors have been racing to start producing the isotope in an effort to avert a looming potential shortage. A key supplier in Canada stopped making molybdenum-99 in last fall, which has pushed up the cost of medical isotopes, according to reporting by the Ottawa Sun.

In February 2016, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorized the issuance of a construction permit to Shine to build a manufacturing facility. That marked a key step forward for the company in its preparation to starting building the plant. However, Shine still needs to obtain an operating license from the NRC. That license relates primarily the mechanics of running the plant, Pitas told Xconomy last year.

Around that time, Pitas said her company had raised a total of nearly $50 million since launching in 2010. Since then, Shine reeled in an additional $17.8 million from investors, and was awarded $10 million in funding by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Shine has signed supply agreements with several distributors of molybdenum-99, including North Billerica, MA-based Lantheus Medical Imaging and GE Healthcare, which is headquartered in Chicago.

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