Positron plans $55 million cyclotron project, 80 jobs

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Medical imaging equipment maker Positron Corp. has agreed to move its operations to Noblesville, where it plans to invest $55 million to open a high-tech facility that will make isotopes used in cardiac PET scans.

Officials announced the execution of a so-called "memorandum of understanding" among the parties Friday morning.

A definitive agreement is still being finalized, but state and local economic development leaders are poised to offer nearly $8 million in financial incentives.

Noblesville Common Council members are expected to vote June 28 on city incentives. Proposed support includes up to $6.7 million toward the acquisition of equipment, City Attorney Michael Howard said. Noblesville also plans to issue bonds that would allow Position to finance a portion of its capital investment at a tax-exempt rate.

The state would contribute $900,000 in EDGE credits and $250,000 in training funds, said Krieg DeVault LLP attorney Kostas Poulakidas, who has been working with the company for more than a year. Positron also could apply for venture capital investment tax credits and research and development tax credits.

Positron plans to move its headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing operations to Noblesville’s corporate campus, located north of 146th Street between State Road 37 and Interstate 69.

Founded in 1983, the company sells and services nuclear scanners and related equipment that help diagnose cardiac and cancer ailments. The company last year moved its headquarters from Houston to Fishers, where it employs eight people. It also has a facility in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The company calls the cyclotron and radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility planned for Noblesville the “most significant endeavor” in Positron’s history. The operation would make the radioactive material used in a Positron emission tomography scanner it began selling two years ago.

Positron expects to create more than 80 jobs in the next three to five years—the majority of which would be highly skilled, professional positions. Howard said the average salary will be $80,000 to $90,000 a year.

Despite the company’s longevity, it has not had much financial success, racking up more than $100 million in losses through the years. In 2010, the company posted a loss of $10.9 million on revenue of $4.6 million.

Its stock trades over the counter for about 3 cents a share.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment Friday, but executives told IBJ last year that they expect to reach $1 billion in sales within five years.


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