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Facility to Support Company’s Work at University of Missouri Research Reactor to Develop Domestic Source of Medical Radioisotope Molybdenum-99
BELOIT, Wis. – NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC broke ground today for a new 50,000-square-foot facility at 1800 Gateway Blvd. in Beloit, Wis. When completed in late 2014, the facility will house the company’s headquarters and activities related to the production of the medical radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). The facility is being constructed by Corporate Contractors Inc. of Beloit.
Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging. Currently, nearly all Mo-99 is generated using highly enriched uranium (HEU) at aging facilities located outside of the United States, leading to product shortages and creating safety and national security concerns. NorthStar is pursuing two non-uranium- and non-fission-based production processes that would help establish the first domestic source of Mo-99 since 1990. Both processes generate only a benign waste stream.
The new facility is phase one in the planned development of a 32-acre corporate campus for NorthStar. It will support the company’s work at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) in Columbia, Mo., where NorthStar is developing a neutron capture process to generate Mo-99.
The facility will provide ancillary processes, packaging and products, including final assembly and testing of the proprietary RadioGenix™ intelligent isotope separation system. NorthStar will also move its company headquarters, currently located in Madison, Wis., to the facility.
“Today’s groundbreaking is an exciting milestone for NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes and an important step toward achieving the goal of establishing a reliable and commercially viable domestic source of Mo-99,” said NorthStar President and Chief Executive Officer George P. Messina.
“We are grateful to the City of Beloit for the warm welcome it has extended to NorthStar and for the assistance that the City has provided to help make this new facility possible,” he said. “We look forward to being part of the community and contributing to the continued growth and success of Beloit and the surrounding region.”
Diane M. Hendricks, owner and chairman of Hendricks Holding Co. Inc., a major investor in NorthStar, said, “Hendricks Holding Co. is excited to be part of such an innovative group. Not only will NorthStar create jobs and economic development in Beloit and the surrounding area, it is developing exciting new technologies and processes that will help improve patient care, advance important medical research and alleviate safety and national security concerns.”
Reed Hall, secretary and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) said, “We are pleased to support NorthStar’s cutting-edge technology, which has the potential to have a major impact on the health care system of the future. We congratulate NorthStar on its new corporate headquarters, which we believe will become a hub of new medical technology. This is a win not just for the company and for Beloit, but for the entire state of Wisconsin.”
Architecture firm Angus Young Associates Inc. of Janesville, Wis. designed the facility.
The structure will be made of painted pre-cast concrete wall panels and steel interior columns and beams, with steel bar joists and a steel roof. The focal point of the building’s exterior will be a two-story, 10,000-square-foot office and employee break room space featuring masonry accents, insulated metal panels and continuous windows that will let in ample natural light.
Phase two of the campus development project would see the building expanded; the site could accommodate a building as large as 110,000-square-feet. Phase three would include construction of a linear accelerator facility for use in the second Mo-99-generation process that NorthStar is developing. A third building also could be constructed on the site in the future as the company continues to expand.
Twenty (20) full-time employees will initially work in the new facility. The team would increase to 165 full-time employees upon completion of phase three of the campus development project, planned for 2018.
The City of Beloit is supporting the project through Direct Developer Incentive Payments (DDI), which will refund some property taxes owed by NorthStar over the next nine years.
“On behalf of the City of Beloit, I can say that we are excited to see construction begin on the first phase of this wonderful new facility,” said Beloit City Manager Larry N. Arft. “We are proud to have partnered with NorthStar to help make this project a reality, and we look forward to an ongoing collaboration as NorthStar grows and prospers.”
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC
Based in Madison, Wis., 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.
Corporate Contractors Inc.
With locations in Beloit, Wis.; Milwaukee and Williams Bay, Wis., Corporate Contractors Inc. (cciwi.com) is a leading general contractor with more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry. CCI provides construction solutions to multiple markets both locally and throughout the United States. CCI is a part of the Hendricks Holding Co. Inc. portfolio of companies and is owned by Diane Hendricks.