UPDATE: Medical firm to break ground next year at Discovery Ridge

Thursday, May 8, 2014 | 8:07 p.m. CDT; updated 8:23 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 8, 2014

COLUMBIA — Northwest Medical Isotopes plans to build a production facility at Discovery Ridge research park, creating 68 jobs, the company announced Thursday.

Salaries for the new jobs would average around $77,000, said Amy Susan, director of communications and marketing with the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The company also plans to make a $50 million capital investment.

The number of jobs and the amount invested qualifies the company to receive tax credits of up to $883,623 through the Missouri Works Program and up to $100,000 through the Missouri Works Training Program, Susan said.

The company expects to break ground on the project next year and begin operations in 2016.

Northwest Medical Isotopes produces Molybdenum-99, an isotope used in the treatment of cancer and heart, kidney and bone diseases. Hospitals use molybdenum-99 to make technetium-99m, which is used in diagnostic tests.

The arrival of Northwest Medical Isotopes "goes to one of our key strategic themes, which is to expand nuclear medicine here in Columbia," said Hank Foley, executive vice president for academic affairs for the UM System.

The MU Research Reactor Center also produces medical isotopes, and it was a factor in bringing Northwest Medical Isotopes to Columbia, according to a Department of Economic Development media release.

Fifty thousand people a day receive a medical scan that uses the isotope, said Nicholas Fowler, CEO of Northwest Medical Isotopes.

"We very much and sincerely are looking forward to being a part of this community," he said. 

Supervising editor is Adam Aton.

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Matt Fetterly May 8, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.

The project is projected to created 68 jobs. Why say "almost 70" when you could report more accurately using less words? Are round numbers somehow innately more understandable? The Tribune doesn't seem to think so.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 8, 2014 | 2:29 p.m.

This would, regardless of the exact number of employees, certainly be consistent with prior and present operations of University of Missouri System's larger research nuclear reactor.

The System may not be the only university with TWO research nuclear reactors, but that's rare.

Missouri taxpayers should be pleaed to learn these two reactors don't represent useless duplication: each has its special purposes. The Columbia campus reactor is designed to produce isotpoes for medical applications; the Rolla campus reactor is designed primarily as a training device, that also aids in evaluating natural and engineered materials (effects of radiation on them).

Unless there's been some recent change, only MS&T has the System's BS program in Nuclear Engineering; both campuses offer MS and PhD programs. We can teach reactor technology using only a small, low power* reactor - the principles are the same whether you have that or the monster in Callaway County, and it can be done without using a more expensive grade of nuclear fuel.

*- All nuclear reactors, power or research, are rated according to how much electricity they can theoretically or actually produce, whether they produce electricity or not.

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders May 9, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

Just once, I'd like to see real entrepreneurship not dependent upon a million dollars of corporate welfare.

How can we ever have a healthy economy when businesses refuse to take on any real risk? Socializing the costs amongst all Missourians, while the profits flow to Oregon is no way to achieve prosperity. This only aids sixty-eight people locally, the construction company who gets the contract, the owners of NWI, and of course, all of the politicos who lined up to get their faces in the news for going "blah, blah, blah." (why yes, that's a direct quote)

Oh, and of course, the banksters who "loaned" $50 million in imaginary money to make it all possible.

Never mind the fact that the creation of even more imaginary money makes us ALL poorer as a result, just like any other counterfeiting operation.

(Report Comment)

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