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Cardinal Health opens new facility in Nebraska

Cyclotron to produce fluorine-18

Cardinal Health has opened a new facility in Omaha, Nebraska that manufactures radiopharmaceuticals, giving local physicians new tools that aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The new manufacturing facility, known as a cyclotron, will produce fluorine-18, a raw material needed to create imaging agents that, when injected into patients, are visible during a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. This technique uses low levels of radiation to enable physicians to diagnose and treat certain forms of cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, as well as other serious medical conditions, at an earlier stage of onset.

In addition to FDG, the new cyclotron can produce a variety of other PET imaging agents to support oncology, neurology and cardiac imaging procedures, including new radiopharmaceuticals for use in clinical trials, the company said.

According to Cardinal Health, the imaging agents produced at the facility will not only diagnose and treat disease at earlier stages, but they can also help pharmaceutical companies evaluate efficacy of new therapeutic agents, saving time and reducing costs associated with bringing new medications to market.

John Rademacher, president and general manager of specialty and nuclear pharmacy services for Cardinal Health, said: Making PET products more accessible to clinicians and patients is critical to providing the highest level of care today, but it is also important to the future of molecular imaging.

While pharmaceutical companies bring great expertise in new drug development, Cardinal Health acts as a commercialization catalyst that has the manufacturing scale to rapidly bring novel agents to the broader US healthcare market.