Stephen Merrick Joins NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes as COO
Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Industry Veteran to Help Guide Company Toward FDA Approval of RadioGenix™ Isotope Separation System, Commercialization of Molybdenum-99 Production Processes
BELOIT, Wis. – Stephen Merrick has joined NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a newly created position with the company.
Merrick brings 24 years of experience in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical/life sciences sector, having held multiple executive positions with leading global companies. He will oversee day-to-day operations at NorthStar – including engineering, production and customer service – as the company advances toward U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its RadioGenix™ intelligent isotope separation system and commercialization of the two new processes it is developing for producing the medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
He comes to NorthStar from Baxter International, where he was vice president, international marketing for the company’s Hospital Products business. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president and president-international commercial operations for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb for 17 years, holding a series of increasingly responsible positions around the world. He began his career with Ely Lilly and Company.
“Stephen brings the ideal background and skill set to NorthStar as we take the final steps toward becoming the first domestic supplier of Mo-99 since 1989,” said President and Chief Executive Officer George P. Messina. “He has been a senior leader with some of the premiere companies in the industry and has deep experience in operations, marketing and overseeing strategic initiatives. He has a long track record of successfully managing products through all stages of their lifecycles. We are delighted to welcome him to our team.”
Merrick has a Master of Business Administration degree from the London Business School in London and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. He served in the Royal Navy Submarine Service, where he was a nuclear submarine navigation and operations officer.
Neutron Capture Production Process
MURR will use the neutron capture production process being developed by NorthStar to supply Mo-99 through its Drug Master File. A Mo-98 target is bathed in neutrons, transforming a portion of it into Mo-99. The Mo-99 is extracted from the target and purified, and then moved to the NorthStar dispensing operation housed in the same facility. Waste created during Mo-99 production is minimal and relatively benign, making its disposal safe and inexpensive.
Source vessels are then filled with a Mo-99 solution using the DPharm and then shipped to customers for use with the RadioGenix™ isotope separation system. The RadioGenix™ system is used to extract the Tc-99m from the Mo-99, giving the radiopharmacy the key ingredient needed to create patient-ready doses of medical isotopes.
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC
Based in Madison, NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC (northstarnm.com) was founded in 2006 to address the needs of the nuclear medicine market in the United States. A wholly owned subsidiary of NorthStar Medical Technologies LLC, the company is committed to resolving industry-wide supply challenges that have caused shortages of vital medical isotopes, negatively impacting patient care and stalling clinical research. Its patented technologies include innovative non-uranium based molybdenum-99 production methods, a novel separation chemistry system and tools for the nuclear medicine market.