Ohio devicemaker adding jobs after $5M tax break

Amidst all the news of device firms slashing jobs and budgets, one Ohio firm is looking to expand. Oberlin's Synapse Biomedical is using a $5.1 million state tax break to add 60 jobs.

The company makes the NeuRx diaphragm pacing system, a respiratory aid for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease, and the state's 50% job creation tax credit will apply for 7 years, The Chronicle-Telegram reports. Synapse currently has just 15 employees and is looking to hire technicians and engineers, in addition to financial staff and customer service reps, the company's vice president told the newspaper.

The goal is to expand NeuRx, the TV remote-sized device that uses an electronic pulse to stimulate the diaphragm, allowing patients to inhale. It's designed to treat the respiratory insufficiency that results from Lou Gehrig's disease, but the device is also effective in cases of paralysis. Christopher Reeve, for instance, was one of the company's first customers, back in 2003.

Synapse's planned expansion comes in contrast to the prevailing trend industry-wide, as devicemakers prepare for the pending 2.3% tax on domestic sales by cutting costs where possible, including on the payroll. This week, Michigan's Stryker ($SYK) filed paperwork to begin trimming 107 jobs from its New York plants, and Indiana's Zimmer has plans to lay off 450 employees.

- read the Chronicle-Telegram story