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MURR to supply radioisotope for targeted cancer therapy

01-Jan 28, 2021

The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR®) has entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement with Advanced Accelerator Applications International, SA (AAA), a Novartis company, to provide a key ingredient in a targeted therapy for certain types of cancerous tumors. The agreement covers medical markets in the U.S. and around the world, standing as another example of the industry collaborations and advancements made possible by the University of Missouri System’s NextGen Precision Health initiative. Under the terms of the agreement, AAA will have the ability to use or sublicense the associated intellectual property in order to separately manufacture ‘no-carrier added’ Lutetium-177.

Lutetium-177 (Lu-177), a radioisotope, is a key ingredient in Advanced Accelerator Applications USA, Inc.’s (AAA USA) targeted cancer therapy, Lutathera® (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate). Lutathera® is used to treat certain types of neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. As the most powerful university research reactor in the U.S., MURR has been providing the radioisotope to AAA USA since 2017, when it signed an agreement as the sole U.S. supplier of Lu-177 to AAA USA for use in Lutathera®.

Researchers at MU first identified the potential of Lu-177 as an anti-cancer treatment nearly 20 years ago, and MURR has been a crucial component for research at the university for more than 50 years. Operating 6.5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, scientists from across the campus use the 10-megawatt facility to not only provide crucial radioisotopes for clinical settings globally, but also to study artifacts, improve medical diagnostic tools and prevent illness.

“With another major collaboration under its belt, MURR continues to be a nationwide leader in conducting university reactor research and driving industry growth,” said Mun Choi, president of the UM System and chancellor of MU. “The Precision Health initiative at the UM System is all about using the up-to-date, state-of-the-art science and technology to solve the world’s health crises, and this industry collaboration — made possible by the discoveries of MU researchers almost two decades ago — shows how we are fulfilling that mission.”


Read the University's full press release at

View a video to learn more about MURR at


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