By Phil Lassiter
With the increasing rate of life-threatening diseases, including neurological, oncological, and cardiovascular illnesses, the demand for radiotherapy treatment has also increased. In particular, the increase in demand is due to the fact that radiology is the only method to treat many of these disorders.
Key drivers of the increase in such disorders or illnesses are environmental factors, nutrition, lifestyle, and psychological factors. It is estimated that by 2017, total market share of radiopharmaceutical companies in the U.S. will touch the $7 billion mark due to the growing segment of the aging population and above-mentioned disorders.
The reason patients prefer radiotherapy treatments is that these methodologies are more effective when compared to the other conventional techniques. Another reason of adopting radiotherapy treatment is that it helps diagnose major diseases much earlier than other diagnostic methods, through dynamic and static imaging of the body’s organs.
Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (OTC:ADMD) is one company that is producing and distribution medical isotopes and medical isotope technologies. This company’s medical isotopes are used in molecular imaging, therapy, and nuclear medicine. These medical isotopes are also used to diagnose, manage, and treat diseases.
High-quality Product Development
Advanced Medical Isotope Corp. (ADMD) has helped the medical world in adopting new methods of fighting cancer as well as help cancer patients live longer.
One of the company’s key products, RadioGel, is an effective method of treating cancer. It acts by supplying higher doses of radiation to the precise point where it is needed, to remove the cancerous tumors, which otherwise cannot be removed surgically. This method minimizes the damage of healthy tissue surrounding the infected area. It allows delivery of the insoluble yttrium-90 (Y-90) isotope into the body to treat cancer.
With relatively scarce production levels and rising demand due to an increasing rate of illnesses globally, I expect RadioGel to be a significant growth catalyst for the company in terms of revenue and stock price.
Advanced Medical Isotope is in the process of manufacturing the “RadioGel isotope” that will yield substantial technetium-99m to meet the increasing needs of medical practitioners. Advanced Medical Isotope has clinically tested this therapy through an FDA-approved nonsurgical procedure. According to the article:
Tiny radioactive beads of the isotope yttrium-90 (Y-90) microspheres were inserted near liver tumors that could not be operated on otherwise. A catheter was then inserted into a small incision made near the groin and threaded through arteries until it reached the hepatic artery in the liver. Once in place, millions of micro beads were released, emitting high-dose radiation directly to cancerous cells, sparing damage to nearby healthy cells.
Advanced Medical Isotope, along with Safety by Design, PC, Colorado, and Colorado State University, have entered into an alliance to start manufacturing and supplying medical isotopes in the areas of the medical industry with high demand and low supply.
The alliance’s initial focus is on the treatment of skin cancer, but will go on to use the same isotope (holmium-166) to treat joint pains, liver cancer, and myeloma. In addition, the company has also obtained an exclusive license from Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization, for eight patents to produce, use, and sell a water-based biodegradable polymer that would transfuse the yttrium-90 microspheres directly into infected tissues.
The eight patented therapies that Advanced Medical Isotope possesses are:
- Two patents for “Stimulus Sensitive Gel with Radioisotope and Methods of Making” –in U.S. with two different patent numbers.
- “Sensitive Gel with Radioisotope and Methods of Making”—in Canada.
- “Thermogelling Biodegradable Aqueous Polymer Solution”—in U.S.
- “Thermogelling Oligopeptide Polymers”—in U.S.
- “Thermogelling Biodegradable Aqueous Polymer Solution”—in Canada.
- Two patents for “Multiple Stimulus Reversible Hydrogels”—in U.S.
Other Players in Medical Isotopes
Nordion Inc. (NYSE:NDZ), one of the global leaders in medical isotope production and a major provider of isotopes used in medical imaging, is one of several companies that has failed to meet the rising demand levels of medical isotopes in 2012, despite its continued innovations. Nordion recently hired advisers to examine options for its future. The company suspended its dividend in September 2012 after claims for damages from its main supplier were rejected by an arbitration panel, state-owned Atomic Energy of Canada, which put one of its core businesses in jeopardy.
Nordion, in order to produce molybdenum-99 used in medical imaging, relies heavily on raw material from an aging facility operated by Atomic Energy of Canada in Chalk River, Ontario. The plant, which is licensed to operate until 2016, has been running since 1957. Nordion has tried to push Atomic Energy of Canada to pay damages or, alternatively, finish construction of two new reactors that would have provided a long-term supply of the radioactive material.
Another global leader in medical isotope production, Covidien plc (NYSE:COV), has been dealing with similar supply issues. Covidien (COV), which receives its isotopes from nuclear reactors in Poland, France, South Africa, and Belgium, has taken steps to create medical isotopes from Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU). Covidien tried to put together an agreement with Babcock & Wilcox Co. (NYSE:BWC) to develop new reactors using LEUs which would have a much lower power output than a commercial reactor. However, the project was scrapped due to higher than expected project completion time and costs. The good news for Covidien is that its medical isotope business is just one small piece of its overall healthcare business.
Advanced Medical Isotope has been able to consistently produce and sell higher quality medical isotopes—and at the same time continues to meet demand levels for the product. Overall, Advanced Medical Isotope (OTC:ADMD) is at a place where long-term investors and capital return-oriented investors may want to get in and take advantage of a growth spurt, which could set in well in the near-term.
Disclosure: Long ADMD