Northern Indiana business making isotopes to create ripple effect

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A new company in Indiana is hitting the ground running in using subatomic particles to treat people with various medical conditions, and it could have a ripple effect in employing more Hoosiers.

AZIsotopes is a life sciences company that makes isotopes that can be used by hospitals to treat people with cancer and can be used in diagnostic imaging. It has moved into a shell building in Bunker Hill, not far from the Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami County.

The coronavirus pandemic nearly killed their new venture in Indiana, but CEO Greg Brooksby gives credit to Congresswoman Jackie Walorski for helping clear the way for experts from Europe to be able to travel to the U.S. to help them get their massive cyclotron up and running.

Now that their equipment to make isotopes is nearly ready to start churning them out, he tells Inside Indiana Business that demand is high.

“We’ll probably be making product by the end of June, July and shipping product out by July, August,” he said. “So, we are right on pace. By being located where we’re located at, we’ve created an environment that is very friendly to our customers and suppliers because we have the space to grow.”

Another reason AZIsotopes decided to locate in Indiana not because of access to a talented workforce, but also because of how Indiana’s location is the best possible place in the U.S. from a logistical standpoint to ship isotopes to their destination, especially since they have a limited life expectancy.

“This is like being in the human body and being in the heart,” Brooksby said. “We already have customers, vendors that what to build with us because normally I’d have to ship that isotope to them in New York.”

He said the plans of their customers to also build facilities nearby to their location cuts the logistical middleman in shipping isotopes out altogether, making it easier to move product. That also could lead to more Hoosiers being employed in the area.

Finally, Brooksby said they also have access to the landing strip at the Grissom Air Reserve Base, which is ideal for shipping product by air to customers that can’t build in Indiana.

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