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Ottawa provides $7.46 million to medical isotopes program

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The local health and sciences community received a $7.46-million boost from the federal government today.

The boost from Natural Resources Canada will be put towards an $11.7-million program that will provide a safer and more affordable way to produce medical isotopes.

The program, known as the Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise or "PIPE", is a partnership of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Health Sciences Centre, and the University of Winnipeg.

Medical isotopes are used in medical imaging in order to diagnose a patient, and usually produced in nuclear reactors. This program will instead produce the isotopes using linear accelerators.

"The isotope supply from the two principal nuclear reactors in Canada and the Netherlands is unreliable and adds an unacceptable supply risk to Canadian patients," said Dr. Kennedy Mang’era, director of radiopharmacy at the Health Sciences Centre, in a press release. "Linear accelerator technology is an innovative, inexpensive and environmental friend approach to isotope production."

 

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