NorthStar Names Merrick CEO, Appoints Hendricks as Board Chair

NorthStar Medical Technologies, which is seeking to become the first U.S. company in decades to domestically produce a widely used medical radioisotope, said it has appointed Stephen Merrick as CEO. Merrick joined Beloit, WI-based NorthStar in 2016 as the company’s chief operating officer and was later given the title of president, which he’ll continue to hold, NorthStar said.

NorthStar founder George Messina previously served as the company’s CEO and chaired its board of directors. Messina will now be chairman emeritus, NorthStar said. He was also appointed president and CEO of NorthStar Nuclear Therapies, a wholly owned subsidiary trying to develop medical isotopes that would serve as treatments. (NorthStar appears to have restructured. Until recently, it was known as NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. That business is now one of several wholly owned subsidiaries of the parent organization, NorthStar Medical Technologies.)

The parent company said its new chairperson is Diane Hendricks, a billionaire corporate executive and philanthropist whom some have credited with helping to lead an economic revival in Beloit.

NorthStar plans to produce and sell an isotope, molybdenum-99, through its medical radioisotopes business. A device developed by the company decays molybdenum-99 into technetium-99m, the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging. The FDA approved NorthStar’s decaying device earlier this year.

The company’s plan is to initially sell molybdenum-99 produced at a nuclear reactor in Columbia, MO. Then, NorthStar will shift production to a new facility it’s building at its Wisconsin headquarters. The company has said it will not begin making molybdenum-99 at the new facility until 2021 at the earliest.

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