AZ Isotopes has selected the city of Goodyear as the site for a state-of-the-art facility which will improve the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases. By producing several medical isotopes that are either not currently available or difficult to obtain in Arizona, the Goodyear facility will support health care by giving physicians and their patients the most modern tools for diagnoses and treatments as well as research towards improving medical outcomes.
Construction and operation of the facility also will result in high-quality jobs. Initially, about 50 technical and managerial professionals will be employed. As demand for the isotopes and the research program expands, additional high-quality positions will be added. Substantial growth can be expected as industry analysts estimate the projected market for medical isotopes at about $6 billion by the year 2018.
Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord is highly supportive. She stated: “We are excited to bring this new high-tech life sciences enterprise to Goodyear, along with highly skilled professionals and high-paying jobs. Goodyear has everything companies like AZ Isotopes need to operate and grow their businesses. We are growing and ready to help accommodate companies like AZ Isotopes to provide jobs and expand our work base.”
The Goodyear-based Western Regional Center for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America is also supporting the city’s efforts to help ensure that the new research and production facility is located nearby. It stated: “Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) in Goodyear applauds the city’s economic development efforts in healthcare initiatives which lower the nation’s reliance on foreign products.” Edgar D. Staren, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Western added, “We look forward to a readily available local isotope supply that could support our patient needs.” Additionally, several major universities (including the University of Arizona) have already expressed interest in taking advantage of the facility’s research capabilities.
The Goodyear location will contain the full spectrum of operations necessary for providing the highest quality support for medical care and research. Included will be manufacturing, engineering, administrative, sales and executive positions. AZ Isotopes has assembled an internationally-renowned team of top scientists and physicians to begin site preparation and facility design and construction.
The site for the Goodyear plant is a 10-acre tract along Litchfield Road, north of Maricopa 85 and close to the Phoenix-Goodyear airport. Because delivery time is critical to the users of medical isotopes, the facility’s proximity to the airport is very fortuitous. AZ Isotopes President and COO David Barshis stated, “Goodyear offers an ideal location for our planned operations, and local government has been extremely helpful in the process expected to provide a key competitive advantage over other isotope manufacturers.”
The heart of the facility is a unique, variable-energy medical cyclotron accelerator capable of producing medical diagnostic imaging and therapeutic isotopes which are not currently available, or have limited availability, from other commercial sources in the U.S. This facility will join other local cyclotrons supporting various related types of medical treatments in the area. Locally, the Phoenix campus of Mayo Clinic has already announced plans to construct a facility to house a cyclotron designed specifically to be used for fixed-beam proton therapy at its new $130 million cancer center. And the Phoenix-based Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is currently replacing its smaller cyclotron with a new unit for production of isotopes that enable detailed brain imaging.