NorthStar plans to expand Beloit campus with construction of a new building
9 May 2022
BELOIT—NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC is expanding, with plans to construct a new building at its campus in the Gateway Business Park.
The Beloit City Council on May 2 approved a planned unit development master land use plan submitted by NorthStar. The plans for the new building is for production of the isotope Actinium-225.
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes campus along with the new production facility will be located at 1800 Gateway Blvd.
“NorthStar has begun construction on its first stand-alone 28,000-plus square foot, first-of-its-kind Actinium-225 (Ac-225) production facility,” said, Stephen Merrick, President and Chief Executive Officer at NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes.
Merrick expects the facility to be up and running in late 2023 and was initially planned as far back as 2020.
“Our construction projects are highly specialized and require long-range planning. Initial planning for this facility expansion began in mid-2020,” Merrick said.
Actinium-225 can attach to molecules that can home in on only cancer cells. In clinical trials treating late-stage prostate cancer patients, actinium-225 wiped out the cancer in three treatments, according to a release from the United States Department of Energy.
“Clinical research and commercial use of Ac-225 are severely constrained by chronic short supply due to limitations of current production technology,” Merrick noted. “This new facility and technology are designed to alleviate that situation.”
This new building, which will be 28,000 square feet, will be located on land that already is owned by NorthStar, according to Sarah Lock, Beloit’s Director of Strategic Communications.
“It will be dedicated exclusively to commercial-scale production of the radioisotope non-carrier-added Ac-225,” Merrick said.
“Approval last week by the City of Beloit reclassified the NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes property as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow for additional stand-alone buildings on its campus,” Merrick said.
This approval authorizes the construction of up to three stand-alone buildings, according to the City of Beloit’s report.
This includes the Ac-225 production facility and two “additions” to the accelerator production facility that was added in 2020, according to the City of Beloit’s report.
“The next step that will involve the city will include site plan review by staff and the permitting process,” Lock noted.
“Construction of the Ac-225 production facility has begun and NorthStar expects to begin initial production of radiochemical grade Ac-225 in late 2023, with a submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in mid-2024 for cGMP product,” Merrick noted.
The expansion of the buildings and expanded technology has opened up more jobs for the organization.
“This expansion has created new jobs, and will continue to do so for several years. NorthStar currently employs 275 people, and we expect that number to exceed 300 by the end of 2022,” Merrick said.
The NorthStar Beloit facility started initial construction in the Gateway Business Park in 2014.
In April of 2021, NorthStar took delivery on two electron beam accelerators, each valued at about $5 million. The company expects to be using the accelerators in producing radioisotopes for shipment to customers in January of 2023.