World's Only Large Scale Stable Isotope Production Capability Demonstrated by Theragenics.
BUFORD, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 1, 2002
Theragenics(TM) Announces Availability of Stable Isotopes for
Theragenics Corporation(R) (NYSE: TGX), the Atlanta-based cancer treatment producer, today announced that it has successfully operated the Plasma Separation Process ("PSP") at its Oak Ridge, Tennessee facility.
Based on the capabilities of the PSP, the company believes it has opportunities in the fields of medical therapeutics, medical diagnostics, neutron detection for research applications, sterilization applications, nuclear power applications, and national defense applications.
This one-of-a-kind PSP capability represents the only commercial scale technique for producing large quantities of a wide range of enriched isotopes. Developed in the early 1980s under the direction of the Department of Energy, the PSP was originally intended to support the production of materials for nuclear power generation. However, in 1987, Theragenics(TM) recognized the capabilities of the equipment beyond its intended use and was able to contract for it to enrich Pd-102 (raw material for cancer products). Shortly thereafter the PSP was disassembled and remained so until Theragenics(TM) unexpectedly learned of its availability. Recognizing its unique capabilities, the Company entered into a 30-year lease for its exclusive use.
M. Christine Jacobs, chairman, president and CEO of Theragenics(TM), in commenting on this development stated, "After three years of work and $30 million of investment, we now believe that the opportunity exists for Theragenics(TM) (working on its own or with others) to create new products and services. Our next steps will be to seek and sift through proposals from commercial, governmental, and research organizations for the purchase of specific isotopes while at the same time pursuing internal development opportunities."
Ms. Jacobs went on to say, "Complementing the PSP's capabilities, Theragenics(TM) has an agreement granting the Company access to the high flux isotope reactor (HFIR) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories which gives us the additional capability of transforming PSP-produced stable isotopes into radioisotopes. Combining the PSP capabilities, HFIR access and the Company's 14 cyclotrons brings a new dimension to Theragenics(TM) that gives us unmatched abilities to select and manufacture isotopes that best suit particular disease states."
One such disease state is breast cancer. Theragenics(TM) has identified several isotopes that exhibit energies and physical characteristics that may be well suited for breast tissue. The selected isotope(s) could possibly be used in combination with a lumpectomy to eradicate the tumor and any residual disease in the resection margins of the lumpectomy. This has the potential to revolutionize the breast cancer treatment regime for thousands of women, shortening their treatment time from six weeks to a matter of days.
These assets also present the Company with the capability to produce target materials and radiochemicals for potential use in medical imaging. Several isotopes that are widely used in nuclear medicine are under evaluation and/or development. Theragenics(TM) is actively searching for customers, partners, and purchases that will allow it to leverage these assets and accelerate its efforts to develop and introduce additional products to market.
In separate developments, Theragenics(TM) reported that it is continuing its investigation into the use of Pd-103 for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease as well as macular degeneration. A human feasibility study treating vascular disease in the superficial femoral artery (SFA) is expected to be underway by the third quarter of this year. Additional studies to treat vascular disease below the knee are currently under evaluation. Animal feasibility studies for treating macular degeneration are expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
In conclusion, Ms. Jacobs stated, "Theragenics(TM) is well on its way to transforming itself into a company built on technology and expertise not commonly found in industry. We plan to continue treating cancer while expanding into the production of new materials for new industries."
This release contains forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including, without limitation, statements regarding the creation of new products and technologies; the capabilities of the PSP, HFIR, and 14 cyclotrons to produce, individually or in concert, isotopes, target materials and radiochemicals for potential use in medical treatments, imaging and other applications; Theragenics'(TM) ability to select isotopes most appropriate for particular disease states; the potential use of isotopes identified by Theragenics(TM) to treat breast cancer; Theragenics'(TM) search for customers, partners, and purchases; the expected commencement of SFA treatment studies; the evaluation of studies for the treatment of vascular disease below the knee; and the completion of macular degeneration animal feasibility studies. These forward looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including, among other things: risks associated with R&D activities; potential costs and delays associates with commencing commercial operations at the Oak Ridge facility; potential costs and delays in the startup and refinement of technology and related equipment; potential equipment failure; adverse changes in governmental program priorities and budgetary funding by the relevant governmental authorities; potential inability of the PSP to produce isotopes suited for a particular application; potential inability to produce selected isotopes at costs competitive to other options; acceptance and efficacy of isotopes for other applications; animal studies and clinical trials related to new products, risks associated with new product development cycles; government regulation of the therapeutic radiological pharmaceutical device business, potential changes in third-party reimbursement; and management of growth. All forward looking statements and cautionary statements included in this document are made as of the date hereby based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward looking statement or cautionary statement.
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|Date:||Apr 1, 2002|
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