The new $19.5 million, 23,000 square-foot Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy (CMIT) facility officially opened its doors Wednesday, bringing to fruition a milestone project in the ongoing expansion of Louisiana’s life sciences sector.
The new CMIT facility adds new state-of-the-art equipment and consolidates research, radiopharmaceutical manufacturing and patient care under one roof in Shreveport’s InterTech Science Park. The project, which is expected to result in 25 direct new jobs in the Northwest Region over the next five years, is the result of a partnership among the North Louisiana economic development organization BRF, the State of Louisiana, private donors, state and national partners, and community groups.
“The new Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy is the culmination of years of hard work, collaboration and a commitment to give Louisiana residents access to the most advanced medical care available,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “I congratulate BRF for realizing a vision that puts Shreveport at the forefront of medical research. This is a landmark moment for Louisiana’s life sciences industry, and for Louisiana residents confronting a wide range of serious health challenges.”
The new CMIT will house state-of-the-art cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratories, as well as preclinical and clinical facilities that will help to expand molecular imaging and therapy care for a variety of oncological, neurological and cardiological conditions.
“With the new CMIT, Louisiana residents will have access to the most advanced molecular imaging and therapy care so they do not have to travel out of state,” BRF President and CEO Dr. John F. George Jr. said. “The scientists and researchers at this facility, and at collaborating educational institutions and pharmaceutical companies, will be able to perform life-saving research, produce life-saving radiopharmaceuticals and perform cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic imaging for area patients and for those in the state and beyond.”
BRF’s history of medical innovation dates back to 1995, when it opened Louisiana’s first positron emission tomography (PET) center. That facility provided thousands of patients diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, distributed more than 188,000 radiopharmaceutical doses, and provided more than $30 million in free care to indigent and uninsured patients. The new CMIT is a continuation of BRF’s mission to provide the latest technology and services to patients regardless of their ability to pay.
“The new Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy will enhance Louisiana’s position in the increasingly competitive life sciences sector by attracting contracts from out-of-state entities that drive revenue streams and create high-paying jobs,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “I congratulate BRF on advancing molecular imaging care for Louisiana patients while promoting the kind of groundbreaking research and collaboration that the healthcare industry has come to expect from our state.”