Bruce Power’s vision to use the power of nuclear energy to aid in the fight against cancer advanced today with the formation of the Ontario Isotope Innovation Hub. This includes the unveiling of Kinectrics Center for Medical Isotopes and Nuclear Chemistry. Together, these announcements strengthen Ontario’s position as an international leader in the production of life-saving medical isotopes.
The new Ontario Isotope Innovation Hub will position Ontario as a global leader in the production of life-saving medical isotopes and ensure that the province is at the forefront of isotope research, development and innovation. The Hub will aim to bring together leading experts from across the medical isotope and radiopharmaceutical fields to leverage their knowledge, capabilities and capacities, to develop innovative ideas that can address real-world challenges faced by radiopharmaceutical developers, and physicians.
Kinectrics’ Centre for Medical Isotopes & Nuclear Chemistry will transform innovative ideas and concepts into new Made-in-Ontario medical isotope products and services. The Centre aims to extend its capabilities across the medical isotope supply chain from stable isotope enrichment to international supply of the next generation of therapeutic and imaging isotopes for cancer treatment and diagnoses.
“With a strong supply chain, a world class labour force and access to essential infrastructure, Ontario’s isotope ecosystem is at the forefront of the global fight against cancer,” said Premier Doug Ford who attended the launch event. “The Ontario Isotope Innovation Hub is a huge step forward in ensuring our province continues to lead when it comes to this important work.”
In addition, Isogen (a joint venture between Kinectrics and Framatome) and Bruce Power announced the launch of a Global Expressions of Interest Process (EOI) for radiopharmaceutical organizations interested in locating in Ontario for isotope production. This process will run until mid-2023 and will help further cement Ontario and Canada’s role as an isotope superpower.
The EOI will leverage the newly-installed, Made-in-Ontario, Isotope Production System (IPS) at Bruce Power, designed and manufactured by Isogen, which will be a cornerstone of the hub. The IPS, which will be operational later in 2022, will first produce Lutetium-177, a medical isotope that is designed to precisely target malignant cells. The EOI aims to investigate the potential for additional isotopes to be produced at scale using the IPS and distributed to organizations globally, starting with a feasibility study into the production of Yttrium-90 (Y-90), an innovative internal radiation therapy treatment used for liver cancer.
“We’re extremely proud of Bruce Power’s positive impacts on millions of people worldwide,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “Aside from providing clean, carbon-free electricity for Ontario families and businesses, we also supply medical isotopes internationally and we’re grateful for the strong policy support from the Ontario government which allows us to help power our province and keep Canada at the forefront in the supply of life-saving medical isotopes.”
“I would like to thank all those involved for advancing this important work which is vital to the global medical community,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “Ontario is a world leader in the production and supply of isotopes, and ‘Made-in-Ontario’ life-saving medical isotopes will continue to be a strategic priority for the province.”
“At Kinectrics, we are both proud and humbled to play a role in meeting the growing market demands for isotopes including Lutetium-177 with our partner Framatome,” said David Harris, CEO at Kinectrics. “With the formation of the Centre for Medical Isotopes and Nuclear Chemistry, we are excited to expand our capabilities to support a strong international supply chain for medical isotopes, starting first with the production of stable isotopes such as Yb-176, and in the future to the manufacture and supply of the next generation of medical isotopes.”
Bruce Power will be the first commercial nuclear reactor in the world to produce Lutetium-177 to the health care community through a partnership with ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE (ITM), a leading radiopharmaceutical biotech company that is one of the largest and most reliable producers of Lutetium-177 for pharmaceutical use.
“As a globally leading manufacturer of n.c.a. Lutetium-177 on an industrial-scale, we are happy to contribute with our long-standing radioisotope expertise to the highly important initiative of this isotope hub, strengthening Ontario’s position as a specialized center for the development of medical radioisotopes,” comments Steffen Schuster, CEO of ITM. “The exclusive access to Bruce Power’s irradiation service will be a valuable addition to ITM’s established reactor network. By further processing the irradiated material, we produce our pharmaceutical-grade n.c.a. Lutetium-177, which we provide to hospitals and cancer patients worldwide as well as ITM’s proprietary precision oncology pipeline.”
Bruce Power will market the new isotope supply in an historic collaboration partnership with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). The partnership project with SON, entitled Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin which translates to, “we are teaming up to fight the sickness,” includes an equity stake for SON and a revenue-sharing program that provides a direct benefit.
“The Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin project will provide an essential source of much-needed medical isotopes for cancer patients in our communities, across Canada and around the world,” said Chief Veronica Smith, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. “All partners in this project have a shared desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Chief Lester Anoquot of Saugeen First Nation echoed those comments.
“We all have an obligation to do what we can to make the world a better place and we have a unique opportunity to play a role in helping meet the increasing demand for medical isotopes to assist cancer patients around the world,” said Chief Lester Anoquot, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation. “Saugeen Ojibway Nation is proud of the part we have played and will continue to play in this important project.”
Bruce Power also announced a new partnership with the University Health Network and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in support of its theranostics program. This will help establish a theranostics education program that will stimulate interest in the field, and will support the Cancer Centre’s broader ambition of accelerating precise, personalized cancer therapies that effectively target malignant cells and spare surrounding healthy tissues.
“We are deeply grateful to Bruce Power for its generous donation which allows us to expose the next generation of oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical scientists to the latest theranostics techniques and nascent approaches to care,” said Dr. Rebecca K.S. Wong, Radiation Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto. “As one of the top five cancer research centres in the world, The Princess Margaret is well suited to developing the theranostics program into the leading program of its kind. Training the next generation of theranostics experts will prove to be invaluable for long-term innovations in cancer care– ultimately benefitting cancer patients across Ontario and the country.”
The Ontario Isotope Innovation Hub will also lead a private-sector Global Opportunities Review that will be shared with the provincial government outlining the longer-term growth opportunities for Ontario to expand its leadership in the field of Isotopes as part of health and energy innovation and economic development.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable, low-cost nuclear power to families and businesses across the province and life-saving medical isotopes around the world. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OMERS, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.