JANESVILLE, Wis., Sept. 12, 2019 –SHINE Medical Technologies LLC today announced that its founder and CEO Greg Piefer has received the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Physics’ 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award is the highest honor presented to accomplished graduates of UW-Madison for their professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the university. This is the second professional award Piefer has received from UW. He earned the Early Career Award from the College of Engineering in 2015.
After receiving his bachelor’s degrees in physics and electrical/computer engineering, he earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering with a minor in medical physics. It was during this time that Piefer began to focus on commercializing the outcomes of his research on nuclear fusion to address major health care and other challenges.
In 2005, after completing his doctorate, Piefer founded and served as president of Phoenix Labs. While at Phoenix, he managed the development of accelerators capable of generating trillions of sub-atomic particles every second.
Piefer spun SHINE out from Phoenix in 2010. Today, SHINE has more than 110 employees in Janesville. The company broke ground for its medical isotope production facility there earlier in 2019. SHINE will use the Phoenix neutron generator at the production facility. The facility will be capable of producing one-third of the global need for molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), an isotope used in tens of thousands of heart stress tests, bone scans and other medical applications every day. Chronic global shortages of Mo-99 and other isotopes routinely and significantly affect the diagnosis and treatment of patients around the world.
SHINE has raised more than $300 million from investors, including Deerfield Management Co., and government sources.
“I am humbled to receive the 2019 distinguished alumni award from UW’s physics department, particularly because of the outstanding experience I had there as a student,” Piefer said. “I am privileged to lead a great team at SHINE. I look forward to continuing to work with them to commercialize the results of the work that has such deep roots in our great university.”
About Medical Isotopes
Medical isotopes are radioisotopes that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) is a radioisotope that decays into the diagnostic imaging agent technetium 99m (Tc-99m). The workhorse of nuclear medicine, Tc-99m is used in more than 40 million medical imaging procedures each year, primarily in stress tests to diagnose heart disease and to stage cases of cancer. SHINE was founded to deploy a safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology to produce a variety of medical isotopes, including Mo‑99. Roughly one percent of all Mo-99 in the world decays every hour, meaning it must be produced continuously. Current production is limited to only a handful of government-owned nuclear research reactors, the majority of which are overseas.
About SHINE Medical Technologies LLC
Founded in 2010, SHINE is a development-stage company working to become a manufacturer of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. The SHINE system uses a patented, proprietary manufacturing process that offers major advantages over existing and proposed production technologies. It does not require a nuclear reactor, uses less electricity, generates less waste and is compatible with the nation’s existing supply chain for Mo-99. In 2014, SHINE announced the execution of Mo-99 supply agreements with GE Healthcare and Lantheus Medical Imaging. In 2015, with the help of Argonne National Laboratory, GE Healthcare demonstrated that SHINE Mo-99 can act as a drop-in replacement for reactor-based Mo-99. In 2016, SHINE received regulatory approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct its production facility. The company began construction of the facility in the spring of 2019.