Hendricks investment boosts potential employer
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes announced last fall that Rock County is one of two locations it is considering for the location of a facility that eventually could employ up to 300 people. The facility would employ a new approach to the production of nuclear isotopes widely used in medicine.
NorthStar’s chairman, president and CEO George Messina told the Gazette on Friday that Rock County is still a “top contender.” He expects to announce the location of production facility by mid-May. Ground would be broken by mid-2012.
“I am delighted to be an investor in such an entrepreneurial and innovative business,” Diane Hendricks, chairman of Hendricks Holding, said in the news release. “The U.S. is currently dependent upon foreign countries for its entire supply of molybdenum-99, and NorthStar has the technology to become a reliable domestic supplier of this critical isotope.”
Messina described the size of the Hendricks investment as “substantial.”
“It basically sets the stage for us to be in production in the next three to six months, and other companies trying to do the same thing are not able to make that statement,” he said.
Initial production will involve the University of Missouri Research Reactor, but NorthStar will build its own facility at the new location, Messina said. Construction would take five to seven years, Messina said. In the meantime, NorthStar would relocate its headquarters and existing operations to a temporary facility in the new location.
Those operations include the recovery of raw material for use in NorthStar’s process and refurbishing shipping containers for the product, Messina said.