NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, a former Madison company now based in Beloit, has federal approval to become the first U.S. supplier in 30 years whose technology can be used to produce a critical radioactive imaging product — technetium-99m — “the most widely used radioisotope in medical imaging,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA has approved NorthStar’s RadioGenix System to produce technetium-99m, used in more than 10 million diagnostic procedures a year in the U.S. to detect heart disease and cancer and to test lung, liver, kidney and brain function.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will license the RadioGenix System so nuclear pharmacies can operate the equipment to produce technetium-99m for medical purposes, the FDA said Thursday. Read the full story here.