Cyclotron deal expected to increase Rb-82 supply

The University of Missouri-Columbia and Global PET Imaging signed a letter of intent to build a cyclotron to process Rubidium-82 (Rb-82), a radioisotope used for cardiac imaging.

PET myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) relies on radiotracers such as of Rb-82 to produce precise images for diagnosing coronary artery disease. The deal will allow Global PET Imaging to double the world supply for cardiac PET, according to the company.

The agreement allows Global PET Imaging to build a 70 million electron volt cyclotron and other facilities at the university’s Discovery Ridge. Staff at the Missouri University Research Reactor will share their expertise in operating the cyclotron, and in return the company will give them access to the cyclotron for research purposes.

“The market for rubidium is growing much faster than the supply, and we must find a way to increase production for this isotope that could save many lives,” Steve Wyatt, University of Missouri vice provost for economic development, said in a statement. “We have researchers and experts in nuclear medicine here on this campus … We already have experience in producing many other radioisotopes for medical use, and we're looking forward to the future of this partnership."