The dollar amount expected to come from Mo-99 sales in Russia this year may be a little over $8 million, with that reactor working only at reduced capacity. As additional reactors in Russia are gearing up to Mo-99 production, redundancy and reliability is critical for global acceptance of Russian Mo-99. The sales are projected to grow 7x over the next two years. Of course, testing and approval for sales here in the U.S. are critical factors. What everybody wants is reliability.
(CF) Nordion Inc. (NYSE:NDZ) and Covidien (NYSE:COV) are generally considered to be the headliners as investment candidates in medical isotopes. Could you give us a projection on isotope sales in the short term and long term associated with ADMD’s GSG agreement?
(J. Katzaroff) Total market in world is 12,000 curies/week of Mo-99, and about half of that is used by the U.S. when it can be obtained. The current pricing of long term contracts appears to be $400-$600 per curie, and with shortages, spikes could be as high as $1700/curie. This translates into $350-$400 million annual revenue. A 10% share of the U.S. isotope market alone would be worth around $18-20 million per year. Not to be left out of the equation, investors should also note that China’s booming growth will likely increase its demand for medical isotopes, likely rivaling that of the U.S. demand in coming years. In all scenarios, a reliable source of isotope supply could easily obtain a significant part of this pie.
(CF) What about transporting from Russia to here with isotopes decaying so rapidly?
(J. Katzaroff) The half life of Mo-99 is about 6 days, which makes it transportable from or to anywhere in the world. This is typically a non-issue regarding source of production.
(CF) With nuclear proliferation being high on the international agenda, what about the potential ban on highly enriched uranium for any medical isotope production? How could that impact the supply?