News Articles


Biotech firm moving in

By Michael Gelbwasser, Sun Chronicle Staff
January 1, 2006



MANSFIELD — A spine treatment technology firm pledged Wednesday to bring 168 white-collar jobs to Mansfield over the next five years if voters grant a tax break this spring.

Innovative Spinal Technologies would hire biomedical and mechanical engineers, clinical and regulatory staff, sales and marketing staff and finance and administrative staff — all at an average salary of $90,000, Chief Financial Officer Mark Peters told selectmen.
The biotech firm makes spinal products for minimally invasive spine surgery and motion preservation.

IST's move to the Cabot Business Park also would mean about a $7 million investment in infrastructure over five years, Peters said.

The firm and its employees would spend more than $1 million annually in local hotels, restaurants and other businesses, he added.

IST is preparing a property tax relief proposal to negotiate with Mansfield officials. The tax increment financing deal, which would span five to 10 years, would require voter approval at the April 11 annual town meeting.

The company also will seek state incentives, including a 5 percent state investment tax credit on qualifying investments.

"They need incentives to make this project financially feasible,'' said Lynn Tokarczyk, a consultant who helped bring IST and Mansfield officials together.

Peters and Tokarczyk provided specifics of the plans, which IST President and CEO Scott Schorer discussed with The Sun Chronicle on Tuesday.

The company proposes creating 67 jobs by Dec. 31; 103 jobs by the end of 2007; and 168 jobs by the end of 2010, Peters said.

Currently operating out of Texas and Colorado, and an office suite in Mansfield, IST would lease 58,000 square feet of space in Mansfield's business park over two to three years, Peters said.

The firm needs a headquarters, a cadaver lab, prototype and testing space and space for manufacturing and training.

In November 2005, IST was ranked second, at $39 million, on the Boston Business Journal's list of the area's top-funded start-ups. The businesses were ranked by dollar amount funded from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2005.

The firm's investors include General Electric and J.P. Morgan Partners, Peters said.

" It's a very strong, committed investment group,'' he said.

Selectmen expressed interest in seeing IST come to Mansfield.

" I look forward to having you here,'' Selectman David McCarter said.

MICHAEL GELBWASSER can be reached at 508-236-0372 or at mgelbwasser@thesunchronicle.com.