Merrick replaces outgoing Chairman and CEO George Messina, who was named Chairman Emeritus. Messina was simultaneously appointed president and CEO of NorthStar Nuclear Therapies LLC (NNT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NorthStar focused on developing medical isotopes for therapeutic applications. Diane Hendricks, chairperson of Hendricks Holding Company Inc., has assumed the chairperson role for both companies’ Board of Managers.
“As founder, George has been the driving force from NorthStar’s inception through FDA approval of the RadioGenix System to the initial commercial sale of domestically produced Mo-99. We thank George for his successful leadership in NorthStar’s effort to become the first U.S.-based producer of Mo-99,” said Hendricks. “George’s passion and dedication were critical to building NorthStar into a global leader in the development of novel technologies for the production of medical isotopes for medical imaging. We are excited that George is assuming the leadership of NNT as president and CEO. Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT) isotopes, including Actinium-225, produced by NNT have been identified as potential options in the treatment of certain cancers and infectious diseases. NNT’s therapeutic isotopes will offer more patients the potential for improved outcomes that were previously constrained by inadequate TAT isotope supply. We are looking to George to achieve similar success leading NNT as he has done with NorthStar.”
Prior to joining NorthStar, Merrick served as vice president, International Marketing, for Baxter International’s Hospital Products business. Previously, he was senior vice president and president - International Commercial Operations for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and worked in management at Bristol-Myers Squibb for 17 years, holding a series of increasingly responsible positions around the world. Merrick began his career with Eli Lilly and Company.
“NorthStar is at a transformative point in its evolution from a development stage company to being the first domestic supplier of Mo-99, and we are excited that Steve has agreed to become NorthStar’s president and CEO,” continued Hendricks. “This company is strongly positioned for rapid growth in the U.S. market, and there are attractive opportunities for NorthStar to grow outside the United States as well. Steve’s broad executive experience in the pharmaceutical industry at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mallinckrodt and Baxter Healthcare, as well as his expertise in product development and driving domestic and global market demand are invaluable to NorthStar’s future success. The Board of Managers believes that this organizational realignment allows NorthStar to capitalize on both George and Steve’s strengths.”
The RadioGenix System is a high-tech system that is approved for processing non-uranium/non-highly enriched uranium molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) for the production of the important medical radioisotope, technetium-99m (Tc-99m). Prior to availability of RadioGenix technology, the U.S. supply chain for Mo-99 has been subject to frequent and sometimes severe interruptions which negatively impact patient healthcare. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2018, the RadioGenix System is the first and only on-site, automated isotope separation system of its kind for use with non-uranium/non-highly enriched uranium based Mo-99.
Tc-99m is a radioisotope used in a variety of diagnostic testing procedures. It is currently the most widely used medical radioisotope in the United States, used in more than 10 million diagnostic procedures annually. Tc-99m-based radiopharmaceuticals are used to diagnose and stage heart disease, cancer, infection, inflammation and other conditions.
Tc-99m is derived from the radioisotope Mo-99. The United States uses about 50 percent of the world’s Mo-99/Tc-99m for medical purposes, but U.S. supply of Mo-99 has been completely reliant on foreign sources and subject to frequent and sometimes protracted interruptions which negatively impact patient healthcare. Other Mo-99 producers continue to use enriched uranium in their processing which poses significant environmental concerns. NorthStar’s technology uses stable isotopes of molybdenum to produce Mo-99 domestically without incurring the concerns related to the management of toxic waste associated with Mo-99 production from enriched uranium.
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is a global innovator in the production and distribution of radioisotopes used for medical imaging. Founded in 2006 and based in Beloit, Wis., NorthStar Medical Technologies is the parent organization of several wholly-owned subsidiaries, including NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC. NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is a nuclear medicine technology company committed to providing the United States with reliable and environmentally friendly radioisotope supply solutions to meet the needs of patients and to advance clinical research. The company’s first product is the RadioGenix System, a flexible platform technology for the processing of non-uranium/non-highly enriched uranium based molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is currently the most widely used diagnostic radioisotope for medical purposes. NorthStar’s proprietary and patented technologies include non-uranium based molybdenum-99 domestic production methods, patented separation chemistry systems, patented sterilization systems and a technology platform that potentially allows expanded product offerings to provide solutions in both the diagnostic and therapeutic markets.