Nordion Launches the Gamma Centre of Excellence

May 09, 2012, 10:00 ET from Nordion Inc.

World-class facility near Montreal offers applied R&D, training and specialty gamma processing

OTTAWA, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ), a leading provider of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, today launched the Gamma Centre of Excellence (GCE), a world-class facility for the advancement of gamma sterilization science.

Formerly known as the Canadian Irradiation Centre, the GCE focuses on applied research and development, training and specialty gamma processing for industrial and academic customers from across Canada and around the world. The GCE will:

  • Offer world-class R&D, specialty contract irradiation services and training to Nordion's customers and partners;

  • Develop gamma irradiation processes for new or challenging products and materials;

  • Position Nordion as a partner of choice for gamma processing, application development and training.

"Nordion is investing in the advancement of innovation in the gamma irradiation industry," said Dr. Peter Covitz, Nordion's Senior Vice President of Innovation. "The Canadian Irradiation Centre always had a focus on R&D for gamma processing in food applications. The GCE now has an even broader, more ambitious mandate across the entire gamma processing market. Whether a company has an unusual or challenging material to sterilize, wants to train highly-qualified people, or needs to conduct research into new irradiation techniques, the GCE can help."

One of the world's most sophisticated gamma facilities, the GCE provides companies and researchers with the tools, services and expertise they need to achieve their irradiation and sterilization goals. The GCE offers both a full-scale irradiator and small-scale testing systems; world-class experts in physics, chemistry, dosimetry, calibration and dose delivery; dedicated capacity for research projects; and hands-on training and courses, from basic to advanced, for a wide range of industry professionals.

Nordion has been a world leader in gamma technologies for more than 40 years, offering a full suite of gamma-enabling products and services: a reliable supply of Cobalt-60, complete cobalt lifecycle support, expert design, construction and maintenance of commercial irradiators, technical training and new application research and development.

"A facility that can provide the gamut of necessary services like R&D, material compatibility and radiation physics guidance as well as sterilization support is invaluable to manufacturers," said Martell Winters, Senior Scientist at Nelson Laboratories, an American company that provides microbiology testing services to medical device manufacturers. "As a gamma industry professional, Nordion's vision behind the GCE is exciting to me."

Nordion has also created a new Sterilization Science department at its Ottawa headquarters, which will align with the GCE on commercial and academic R&D projects. The Ottawa and Montreal teams are seeking collaborations with current and potential users to advance and expand the application of gamma science and technology.

"We are very pleased to see Nordion's continued investment in gamma research and development," said Paul Wynne of the International Irradiation Association (iiA), the largest non-profit organization supporting the industry. "Nordion's new Sterilization Science team, with their engineering and operational skills, should provide a valuable resource. They will be able to assist processors and end-users in developing and expanding the already very broad range of products processed using gamma radiation."

About Gamma processing
Gamma processing is used to irradiate a wide range of products and materials, from fruit and spices to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It works by exposing the product to radiation from a Cobalt-60 source for a predetermined period of time. This eliminates insect pests and reduces harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli, protecting consumers, patients and healthcare workers from infectious and food-borne disease. Extensively studied for more than 50 years, gamma sterilization is recognized as safe and effective by international public health and government agencies such as the World Health Organization, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Canada.

About Nordion Inc. 
Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ) is a global health science company that provides market-leading products used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of medical isotopes, targeted therapies and sterilization technologies that benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries around the world. Our products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion has more than 500 highly skilled employees in three locations. Find out more at and follow us at

SOURCE Nordion Inc.