Medical sciences company selects Columbia to set up new production facility, expected creation of 68 new jobs

May 8, 2014

COLUMBIA — A high-tech medical sciences company has selected Discovery Ridge, a research and industrial park in Columbia, to be the site of its new radioisotope production facility. Northwest Medical Isotopes’ expansion will include a $50 million capital investment and is expected to create 68 new high-paying jobs.
“Missouri’s low taxes and quality education system that produces a highly skilled workforce continues to attract companies like Northwest Medical Isotopes to the Show-Me State,” said Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing. “Our competitive business climate and good schools means good jobs for communities like Columbia, and an economy that continues to grow throughout Missouri.”
Founded in 2010, Northwest Medical Isotopes will produce molybdenum-99, an isotope that is used by radio pharmacies to produce technetium-99m, commonly used in nuclear imaging studies, including medical diagnostic tests for heart disease, cancer, and organ function.
Although the U.S. uses approximately half of the global supply of molybdenum-99, there are not currently any commercial domestic producers. When operating at full-capacity, Northwest Medical Isotopes will be able to meet 50 percent of North America’s molybdenum-99 demand.

By establishing a commercial production center, Northwest Medical Isotopes will help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign production and help secure a safe and reliable domestic source that is crucial to the U.S. medical community. 

“Located in the very heart of the country, Columbia’s Discovery Ridge Research Park offers the ideal location for Northwest Medical Isotopes’ commercial production facility,” said Nicholas Fowler, chief executive officer of Northwest Medical Isotopes. “Missouri is home to world-class medical research resources as well as an experienced workforce; and its strategic central location provides the access to critical markets across the country.”

Boone County Commissioner Karen M. Miller said that the project would be a good fit with existing Chapter 100 policies to encourage the location of life science companies in the area.
 “Any time we can unite to create really great jobs and build on our local strengths is a good time to celebrate. And this is wonderful for the families who come to Boone County for help with their health care decisions,” Miller said.
“I am excited to welcome Northwest Medical Isotopes to what I hope will be a long and productive partnership in our community,” said Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid. “With our workforce and facilities, locating in Columbia is a smart business decision for them. With our people and our quality of life, Columbia will be a good place for Northwest Medical Isotopes to call home.”

“Residents of central Missouri have access to great health care facilities,” said Steve Wyatt, Vice Provost for Economic Development at the University of Missouri. “However, health care facilities can’t be effective if they don’t have the necessary diagnostic tools. Addressing this long-term issue successfully will allow our doctors to continue providing the best care to patients who come from throughout the state.”
Since health sciences and services was identified by his Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth as a top target for next-generation job creation, Gov. Nixon has made attracting investments in this field a priority of his administration. In just the past year, the state has attracted numerous investments from expanding health sciences and services companies including Catalent Pharma Solutions in Kansas City, Nanova Biomaterials in Columbia, Mallinckrodt in Hazelwood, Pharma Medica Research in St. Charles, and Cofactor Genomics in St. Louis.

"On behalf of REDI, we are excited about this announcement, which provides another excellent example of how economic development succeeds with strong collaboration between the city, county and Mizzou," said Vicki Russell, Chair of Regional Economic Development, Inc.

To assist Northwest Medical Isotopes with its expansion, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.


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