What does this week’s sequence of business deals among Novartis, GSK and Lilly mean in terms of geographical distribution? The Economist weighs in.
Frost-Arnett, an accounts receivable management company specializing in office solutions for healthcare organizations, announced this week it will create 70 new full-time jobs and invest $620,000 to expand its Campbellsville facility with new call center space in Taylor County, Ky. Founded in 1893, the Nashville-based company assists with clients’ accounts receivable and collection needs. The Campbellsville operation first opened in 1999 and currently employs 115 workers.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and Aalto Scientific Ltd., a maker of controls, calibrators and other products for testing labs around the world, announced yesterday, April 24, that Aalto will create 80 jobs and invest $9 million at a new manufacturing facility in Eatonton, in Putnam County, to the southeast of Atlanta and just south of I-20. The project will be the first to locate at the 150-acre Rock Eagle Technology Park, where Aalto will construct a 76,000‐sq.-ft. production and warehouse facility and a 15,000‐sq.-ft. manufacturing facility to house subsidiary AUDIT MicroControls, Inc. GDEcD worked with the Putnam Development Authority to assist the company in relocating from California. While the announcement did not note a specific connection, Eatonton is only 40 miles from Covington, Ga., where Baxter Laboratories’ major complex, pictured above in January, is approaching completion.
The New Yorker’s financial columnist James Surowiecki touches on the touchy topic of possible price controls for increasingly expensive drugs, and the purported danger it would pose to innovation.
The 10th annual Worthington BiO conference, held earlier this month in southwestern Minnesota, featured such speakers as Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, POET vice-president of corporate affairs Doug Berven and Medgene Labs’ chief science officer Alan Young. Presentations highlighted the combination of bio-resources such as corn and soybeans, supportive bioscience communities such as the University of Minnesota and the University of South Dakota and the presence of established bioscience businesses in the local area, including Newport Labs, the nation’s leading manufacturer of autogenous biologics, and Bioverse Inc., manufacturer of biodegradable products for algae control and other natural water treatments, both located in Worthington.
Southeastern Minnesota was also well represented by a panel featuring a representative from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., discussing the clinic’s new Destination Medical Center project, a proposed multi-billion dollar economic development initiative. “I believe that the success of these local companies in the bioscience and medical business arenas is proof that Minnesota—and in particular, southwest Minnesota— is a welcoming and supportive environment for bio-businesses of all kinds,” said Abraham Algadi, Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation manager and organizer of the event, noting the area’s strong ties to organizations throughout the state and its neighboring states.
Genetic Engineering & Biotech News recently released its countdown-style list of Top 10 European Biopharma Clusters, beginning with Ireland at No. 10 and Sweden at No. 9. They don’t make the list, but Russia and Norway earn honorable mention as up-and-comers.
Okay, okay, Netherlands is No. 6. That country’s Royal DSM this month continued the Southern Hemisphere growth that included the opening of its new cGMP facility for biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing in Brisbane, Australia, last fall, when it inaugurated its Fortitech Premixes nutrition products plant in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The 10,000-sq.-m. (107,643-sq.-ft.) plant will serve food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers “looking for fortification as a way to differentiate their products from their competition.” The new plant will service the South Asian market with its teams split between Delhi and Mumbai, as well as a business development group, based in Malaysia and an upcoming innovation center in Singapore. The initial employee headcount for this plant will be 29 full-time positions.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Alphonsus Stoelinga noted a curious balance: “India is the fifth largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Netherlands and vice versa the Netherlands are the fifth largest source of FDI for India.”
The big USA Science & Engineering Festival in the nation’s capital this weekend is completely focused on connecting youth to STEM fields. It also includes a Saturday session titled “The Tech of You: Inside the Personalized Medicine Revolution.”
InnoSound Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of ultrasonic surgical equipment and devices, has selected the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond, Va., as the location for its first sales and service facility and first entry into the US market. The company will create 25 jobs and invest $1 million over the next two years. “We were very pleased to meet with former Gov. Bob McDonnell when he visited Tuspark at Tsinghau University in Beijing when he was in China in April 2013 as part of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s marketing mission and learn more about the business advantages of Virginia for biotechnology and medical device companies,” said Dr. Wenyong Shi, CEO and founder of the company. “Representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and Greater Richmond Partnership were helpful in introducing us to the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, which we feel will be a perfect location for us to begin entering the U.S. and North American markets with our products.”
Irving, Texas–based Fluor Corp. announced April 10 that Grifols’ North Fractionation Facility in Clayton, N.C., was named the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) 2014 Facility of the Year for Project Execution. Fluor provided integrated engineering, procurement, construction management and front-end qualification for this 150,000-sq.-ft. plasma fractionation facility, which was built using modular construction techniques to meet an aggressive construction schedule, incorporate new centrifuge technology and expand existing plant utilities. Fluor-led projects have been chosen by ISPE for Facility of the Year awards three times over the past five years. Grifols completed its $4-billion takeover of RTP-based Talecris Biotherapeutics in June 2011.
“Fluor provides project management and execution excellence for pharmaceutical and biotech clients across the globe, and the Grifols blood plasma facility in North Carolina is a great example of successful outcomes,” said Juan G. Hernandez, president of Industrial Services for Fluor. “We provided Grifols with a single point of project accountability, continuity of intent and elimination of redundant project functions that resulted in a state-of-the-art facility.”
“Grifols has very high standards, and we can always rely upon the same high standards from Fluor in delivering our project execution needs,” said Detlef Kehm, Grifols vice president of engineering. “I am personally very pleased with ISPE’s independent validation of this superior project and with Fluor’s performance.”