CORAL GABLES, Fla., Nov. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Coqui RadioPharmaceuticals Corp., a medical isotope company working to become the first U.S. commercial producer of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), is proud to announce that Ian Turner, the former head of the radiopharmaceuticals business for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), has been appointed to its board of directors. The company prides itself in boasting proven, reliable, commercially scalable methods that have been successfully implemented throughout the world, rather than emergent technology that has not passed the test of reliable commercial production.
In his former position at ANSTO, Turner successfully created and led the initiative to make OPAL at ANSTO the first international commercial supplier of Mo-99 derived from low-enriched uranium (LEU). The LEU technology implemented by Mr. Turner at ANSTO is the same that Coqui Pharma is taking in the U.S. Most recently, Turner served as CEO and President at Siemens where he was responsible for the global business for Cyclotrons and PETNET, which operates the largest PET radiopharmaceutical network in the world. Turner has also served on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes.
"I am honored to welcome Ian Turner to our board of directors as he shares our vision that a new Medical Isotope Production Facility in the U.S. using proven LEU/LEU methods, and not emergent technology, is required to stabilize the world supply of Mo-99. Furthermore, his extensive radiopharmaceutical experience, especially his former role at ANSTO, will be an asset to Coqui Pharma as it moves forward to become the first U.S.-based commercial producer of LEU Mo-99, said President and CEO Carmen I. Bigles. "Our board is filled with experienced and passionate individuals that I am so thankful to have supporting Coqui Pharma."
Mr. Turner now joins the Coqui Pharma board of directors, which includes an impressive roster of nuclear specialists, technology executives and physicians:
- Luis Reyes – Reyes has more than 35 years of nuclear experience and has served in various Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) senior management positions. During his tenure at the NRC, the commission's budget was significantly increased, and the commission consistently received the highest rating on its Government Performance Assessment review. He has also served as executive-on-loan to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and as an expert consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the area of operations experience, new nuclear plant construction and regulatory organizations.
- Dr. James Welsh - Dr. Welsh is a board certified Radiation Oncologist and Neuro-oncologist and is presently Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine – Shreveport and is a radiation oncologist at Willis-Knighton Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana. He is currently on the Advisory Committee on the Medical Use of Isotopes for the (NRC) and sits on the Board of the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO). He is also President of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
- Michael Matte - Matte has served as the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, and Secretary of QuePasa Corp. since October 29, 2007. He is also a director of Iris International, Inc., and GelTech Solutions, Inc. From July 2006 through October 2007, Matte served as a director of QuePasa, and from February 2001 to April 2006, as Chief Financial Officer of Cyberguard Corp. Prior to joining Cyberguard, Matte was a senior audit manager from 1981 to 1992 for Price Waterhouse.
- Dr. Pedro Serrano-Ojeda, M.D. - Dr. Serrano-Ojeda is a certified radiation oncologist and co-founder of Caribbean Radiation Oncology Center, which has a center in Puerto Rico and will open a center in Doral, Fla., in spring 2015. In 2009, the center's quality control data of its first 264 patients was published in the Medical Physics journal. Dr. Serrano-Ojeda frequently speaks at conferences throughout the U.S. and Latin America on behalf Accuray, the manufacturer of the TomoTherapy technology, to offer insight on his experience with the machines and to teach techniques.
Coral Gables-based Coqui Pharma is currently preparing to submit to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission its construction permit application for a $250 million medical isotope production facility in Alachua, Florida. The 100,000-square-foot facility will be built on 25 acres of land owned by the University of Florida Foundation. Following the review process of its application, Coqui Pharma would begin facility construction in late 2016 or early 2017 and open for manufacturing in 2020. The company is expected to employ 164 people at an average salary of nearly $75,000.
Coqui Pharma will utilize existing proven technology with tested designs to license and build a facility that has the capability of supplying a large portion of the U.S. market and international needs with Mo-99, the parent isotope of Technetium-99, the isotope used in 80 percent of nuclear medicine procedures. Due to recent and future projected shortages, the issue of domestic medical isotope production has been discussed at great length within the industry and U.S. federal government. In 2012, Congress passed legislation that was signed by President Barack Obama making it a national priority to produce Mo-99, an isotope necessary to detect a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Among all the companies considering production of Mo-99, only Coqui Pharma is planning to construct a facility using nuclear reactor technology that has already has been demonstrated throughout the world as safe, efficient, reliable and economically viable.
Coqui RadioPharmaceuticals Corp.
Coqui RadioPharmaceuticals Corp. is a medical isotope company, dedicated to the production of Molybdenum-99, which is used in 20 million procedures each year in the U.S. The company's mission is to bring the foremost medical isotope production facility in the Western Hemisphere to Florida, and to create a commercially scalable, reliable supply of medical diagnostic and therapeutic radioisotopes in the U.S. For more information on Coqui RadioPharmaceuticals, visit www.coquipharma.com.
SOURCE Coqui RadioPharmaceuticals Corp.