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ISU Idaho Accelerator Center announces supply of copper-67 isotope available for cancer and medical research

January 8, 2015
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Idaho State University Idaho Accelerator Center is now making available the isotope copper-67 for medical and cancer research, announced Jon Stoner, IAC director of technical operations.

“We’ve developed a proprietary process for making a valuable isotope for cancer diagnostics and therapy known as copper-67,” Stoner said. “Our product has undergone initial radiolabel testing at City of Hope Cancer Research Center with their anti-CEA antibody with excellent preliminary results.”

From left, John Stoner, Idaho Accelerator Center director of technical operations, and Howard Grimes, ISU Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the Idaho Accelerator Center.“Copper-67 has only been available sporadically from U.S. government labs in limited quantities. Lack of supply has limited research and development of new cancer fighting drugs utilizing it.” Stoner said. “Now that we can deliver the copper-67 on demand, researchers can start a program that fits into their whole drug development flow.”

The ISU Idaho Accelerator Center produces the copper-67 using electron linear accelerators known as LINACs.

“We constructed a LINAC just for isotope production. Our process can produce sufficient daily quantities to support human trials,” Stoner said. “The product quality, known as ‘specific activity’, is also very high, greater than 10,000 Curies/gram.”

The copper-67 will be produced at the Idaho Accelerator Center’s Pocatello site.

ISU is partnering with International Isotopes, an Idaho Falls company, to distribute the copper-67 produced at the IAC. This project has also received support from the Higher Education Research Council Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM).

“The production of the copper-67 isotope brings very significant potential for development of drugs to fight numerous forms of cancer,” said Howard Grimes, ISU vice president for research and economic development. “This program is a great example of what partnerships between private sector and public universities can achieve.”

For information on obtaining samples or receiving delivery of the IAC’s copper-67 isotope, contact International Isotopes (208) 524-5300 or admin@intisoid.com; or contact Stoner 208-282-5875 or stonjon@isu.edu.


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