Noblesville may have missed out bringing the second cyclotron in the world to the city when Positron Corp. walked away from plans in July 2012, but a potential developer’s agreement will provide Noblesville with another chance.
On May 27, the Noblesville Common Council will discuss a new $30 million deal to bring Zevacor Molecular, an independently-owned healthcare firm that manufactures and distributes radiopharmaceuticals, to the city. In November, Zevacor purchased the first 70 MeV Cyclotron dedicated to medical use in the United States from Ion Beam Applications.
“There are no other private-owned cyclotrons like this,” City attorney Mike Howard said.
Howard said Zevacor anticipates purchasing the vacant building at 14395 Bergen Blvd., the former location of Helmer Scientific, and investing more than $7 million in expanding, renovating and building improvements on the grounds. The company will purchase and install an estimated $30 million of new manufacturing, distribution, information technology, and research and development equipment.
The potential deal includes bringing eight existing employees and hiring 17 new ones by the end of 2015 with an anticipated payroll of more than $2.5 million plus benefits. An additional 29 employees are expected to be hired from 2016 to 2018.
In return, the city will approve a 10-year abatement of 95 percent of the assessed value of the eligible personal property purchased and installed by Dec. 31, 2017. Howard said the city will pay Zevacor $1.9 million to help pay for equipment as the business achieves certain milestones. Howard said the abatement and incentives could be repealed if the cyclotron is not installed.
Zevacor’s purchase of IBA’s Cyclone 70 is the first of several investments the company is making to secure the future of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. The 70 MeV Cyclotron is expected to be operational in the fall of 2016 and will help to stabilize the domestic supply of medical isotopes needed to diagnose and treat critical illnesses.
“This is just the beginning,” John Zehner, executive vice president and COO of Zevacor Molecular, stated back in November. “With strategic investments like the purchase of the Cyclone 70, Zevacor and our partners will help hospitals improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other critical illnesses. Our goal is to support the current needs of the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community and assist in the growth and development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.”
The main focus of the first 70 MeV Cyclotron will be the commercial manufacture of Strontium 82 to ensure ample, stable United States based supply of Strontium 82/Rubidium 82 generators for use in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. The Cyclone 70 is capable of producing a wide variety of other radionuclides for both research and clinical applications.