02 May NorthStar signs exclusive agreement with Illinois foundation
Janesville, Wis — Responding to cumbersome production processes for radioisotopes, NorthStar Growth Partners has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with PG Research Foundation of Darien, Ill., for the rights to patented technologies that hold the promise of expediting the delivery of radioisotopes used in the nuclear medicine market.
NorthStar, headquartered in Janesville with offices in Madison and Naperville, Ill., develops and markets novel radioisotope production and purification technologies. Some contend that molecules that seek and attach radioisotopes to tumors and cancerous growths can dramatically improve treatment and potentially cure deadly or debilitating diseases, but NorthStar believes that antiquated and time-consuming production processes are undermining this potential.
The new, computer controlled technology allows for efficiency, safer handling, and faster preparation times, which are crucial for new short-lived radiopharmaceuticals to be effective. Since each dose of the radioisotope is produced with nearly identical chemical and radioactive properties, the probability of human error is reduced and the radiation exposure experienced by nuclear technicians is decreased.
Scientific advancements in the use of radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and treatment have created an estimated $10 billion market, with an expected growth rate in excess of 10 percent annually over the next five years. “The idea of bringing technology to bear that can improve purity, reduce exposure to nuclear technicians, and improve processing methods and speed, will have a dramatic impact on production of radiopharmaceuticals used today and in the future,” said George Messina, founder and managing director of NorthStar.
The new technology was developed by the PG Research Foundation, which sponsors application-directed chemical science research by reinvesting income from technologies it jointly develops with partner research institutions.