UW spinoff SHINE Medical hits major funding milestone

SHINE Medical Technologies, a medical isotope company developing technology that originated from University of Wisconsin–Madison research, has signed a $125 million term sheet that represents a massive step in bringing an important medical advance to market.

SHINE Medical is based on the research of Greg Piefer, who earned his UW–Madison nuclear engineering Ph.D. in 2006 and immediately began putting his fusion research concepts to work. SHINE seeks to become a world leader in the manufacture of isotopes used to treat and diagnose millions of patients every year.

Piefer and his team are commercializing new approaches to producing molybdenum-99, an isotope that is used in hospitals around the world for diagnostic imaging of heart disease and cancer. Supply of these isotopes is threatened by the pending closure of reactors in Canada and Europe that currently manufacture the isotopes from highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium.

SHINE represents a safer and greener approach to producing molybdenum-99 that generates far less waste and does not rely on highly enriched uranium. SHINE has plans to build an $85 million facility in Janesville, Wisconsin that will employ more than 150 skilled workers.

The company spent a number of its formative years honing research and development in close partnership with the Morgridge Institute for Research. Former UW–Madison provost and medical physics Professor Paul De Luca and Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering Gerald Kulcinski also were instrumental in the formative stages of the research.

Thomas “Rock” Mackie, director of Morgridge Medical Engineering and emeritus professor of medical physics, helped the organization land a $25 million U.S. Department of Energy award in 2011 to further the work.

“The SHINE Medical Technologies project highlights the success of our engagement with the private sector, UW–Madison, and national labs to solve a major medical challenge,” says Mackie, who is founder of the cancer treatment technology Tomotherapy.

For more on the company advance, contact Katrina Pitas, SHINE vice president of business development, at 608-210-1060.

To learn more about the UW–Madison and Morgridge origins of the technology, contact Mackie at 608-212-0665, trmackie@wisc.edu.