WED AM News: SHINE’s future includes European production plant, CEO says; Promega involved in coronavirus test development

— The future of SHINE Medical Technologies includes a production plant in Europe and a new therapeutic branch, according to the company’s founder and CEO. 

With a dwindling global supply chain for Mo-99 — an isotope that’s used to diagnose heart disease and treat cancer — SHINE plans to to construct another plant in Europe in addition to its current construction project in Janesville. 

“The current supply chain sucks,” said Greg Piefer, founder and CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies at a recent Wisconsin Technology Council luncheon in Madison. “The patient is not being denied a test — they’re being given ultrasound or some other alternative test that’s less effective — and so they don’t really know they’re being mistreated in a way if there’s a shortage.” 

The last major producer of Mo-99 in the Western hemisphere stopped making the isotopes in 2016 and has since shut permanently. According to Piefer, that means “one million people going to the hospital with chest pain who aren’t getting the right tests.”

Europe is the second-largest market in the world for Mo-99 and the largest producer in the world today, but it’s expected to exit the market in 2025. 

“It’s run by the Dutch government, and they want to get out of it,” explained Piefer. “We need to make sure those patients are taken care of, so we have an aggressive plan to not only sell to Europe, but to build a second plant there as well.” 

SHINE has already established an office in Europe. 

Piefer noted that China could be another plant destination for SHINE. The only other two plants producing Mo-99 are located in Australia and South Africa. 

See more: 

— Promega Corporation was involved in the creation of a newly available test for the novel coronavirus, according to a release from the Madison company. 

The test was developed by a Utah-based company called Co-Diagnostics and detects SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. The company announced this week its test has received regulatory approval and is now available in Europe. 

“Promega proved to be an invaluable partner, enabling us to rapidly deliver high-quality diagnostic solutions,” said Dwight Egan, CEO at Co-Diagnostics.

The companies had previously worked together on a test for the Zika virus. 

See the release: 

See more on the test: 

— Fourth-quarter lending at Wisconsin banks increased 3 percent over the year, according to a recent release from the Wisconsin Bankers Association. 

Meanwhile, deposits for the fourth quarter of 2019 were 2 percent higher than the previous fourth quarter. 

Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of WBA, says these positive results demonstrate the strength of the state’s economy, “despite stress in certain economic sectors including the agricultural community.” 

The release shows farmland loans for the fourth quarter increased 1.1 percent over the year, signaling that banks continue to support “this important and struggling facet” of the state’s economy, Poels said. But farm loans decreased 7 percent over the year. 

Lending for the fourth quarter was just under $86 million. Increases were also seen in commercial and industrial loans as well as residential loans — 0.7 percent for each. 

Total assets for Wisconsin banks increased 2.2 percent over the year. 

See the release: 

— A planned agricultural commodity shipping facility in Milwaukee is getting a $4.9 million grant from the state to support construction efforts. 

The new Harbor Assistance Program grant is coming from the state Department of Transportation. The $31 million facility has also received a $15.9 million grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration and $4.3 million in funding from Port Milwaukee. 

It’s being built by the DeLong Company and will export dried distillers grain, a supplement for animal feed that’s created as a byproduct by ethanol producers. It could also export other products including soybeans and wheat. According to a release, the facility will be the first of its kind on the Great Lakes. 

“The diversity of Wisconsin’s agriculture industry is our strength, and part of our international appeal,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. “Our state’s agribusinesses rely on finding markets for the high-quality products our farmers produce.” 

See the release: 

— Wisconsin has joined a bipartisan coalition of 39 states investigating JUUL Labs’ marketing practices and health claims.

AG Josh Kaul in a statement called JUUL the “driving force” behind an increase in vaping among young people. The statement said the DOJ will join the multi-state investigation to look into youth targeting in JUUL’s ads and its claim that vaping is an effective tool to help wean off smoking.

“E-cigarette use has increased dramatically among young people in Wisconsin and nationally, and we must act to reduce it,” Kaul said.

Between 2014 and 2018, vaping increased among Wisconsin high school teens from 7.9 percent to 20.1 percent, according to a Department of Health Services survey.

JUUL spokesman Austin Finan said the company “will continue to reset the vapor category in the U.S. and seek to earn the trust of society” by working with officials on curbing youth e-cigarette use. He said the company has already stopped selling most flavored pods and ended TV, print and digital advertising.

“Our customer base is the world’s 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users,” Finan said.

See the DOJ release:

— A Madison-based startup called JangoBio has created specialized cell cultures advancing the company’s anti-aging therapy.

According to a release, JangoBio’s innovation has the capacity to regenerate and replace hormone-producing tissues and reverse the natural decline of sex hormones that occurs with age.

“The development of hormone-producing organoids paves the way for use in humans and animals,” JangoBio CEO Craig Atwood said in a statement. “JangoBio is rapidly moving toward testing of our organoid products in animal models.”

JangoBio said treatments will be administered by veterinary clinics in companion animals such as cats and dogs. The next phase of development will introduce organoid-hormone therapies in human clinical trials.

See more at Madison Startups: 

See an earlier story on the company: 

Listen to a podcast with Atwood: 


# New test for China coronavirus developed with Promega tools

# Kroger’s planned Pleasant Prairie facility could employ 700 workers in five years

# confirmed for another Kenosha warehouse

# Proposed settlement seeks to offset emissions from refinery explosion



– Evers announces grant to support Port Milwaukee project

– Port Milwaukee ag export project gets $4.9 million boost from state

– GROWMARK offering pollinator garden program for youth


– Area companies take stock of coronavirus as CDC warns of potential spread in the U.S.


– Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire concert booked for Summerfest grounds on eve of DNC

– Beyond Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire: Milwaukee will be entertainment epicenter during DNC


– Medical College of Wisconsin receives $2 million in gifts for Parkinson’s research

– Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office responds to 6 probable overdose deaths in less than 6 hours


– Northwestern Mutual surplus exceeds $30 billion, new high for company


– ROPS rebate program clears Legislature


– Drexel Building Supply acquires site of planned New Berlin facility

– $13M from downtown Milwaukee properties could help finance Century City’s debt

– $13M from downtown Milwaukee properties could help finance Century City’s debt


– Milwaukee Street property owner appeals Plan Commission decision on Amazon delivery center


– Cascio Interstate Music files for receivership

– Dragon I closes after 8 years, State Street too competitive

– Madison Public Market project moves forward with Plan Commission support


– Advocate Aurora’s HR system breached in email phishing campaign

– Kroger Co.’s automated warehouse in Pleasant Prairie advances


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