COLUMBIA, Mo. -

On Thursday leaders with Columbia, the state and the University of Missouri announced a new medical bio-science company that is coming to Mid-Missouri, bringing dozens of high-paying jobs.

The group is called Northwest Medical Isotopes. Officials claim it will create 68 high-level positions, along with millions of dollars in new investments. If it meets the state job creation and investment criteria, it will have access to up to about $880,000 through the Missouri Works Program, which allows companies to retain their employees' state withholding taxes.

The facility expansion is expected to generate $50 million in capital investment, once it starts operating in 2016. The site was chosen along Discovery Ridge, the research park in east Columbia approved in 2005, designed to attract new development.

“Located in the very heart of the country, Columbia’s Discovery Ridge Research Park offers the ideal location for Northwest Medical Isotopes’ commercial production facility,” said Nicholas Fowler, chief executive officer. “Missouri is home to world-class medical research resources as well as an experienced workforce; and its strategic central location provides the access to critical markets across the country.”

NMI plans to make molybdenum-99, a very common radioisotope used in millions of medical tests for everything from heart disease to cancer. The U.S. currently uses about half the world's supply of molybdenum-99, but there is no company in the nation that makes it commercially.

Once it is operating at full capacity, NMI expects to meet half the country's demand for molybdenum-99.

The details were unveiled during a news conference in the council chambers with Columbia's mayor, city manager and the state's director of economic development.