A pharmaceutical company that contracts to develop and manufacture drugs is building a state-of-the-art campus in Middletown that is expected to open in 2020 and have about 500 jobs by 2026.
The campus will be on 190 acres and is now in its initial phase, said a Monday press release from WuXi STA and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.
Ultimately, Wu-Xi STA could expand its campus to include 1,000 workers.
It will be near Middletown’s one million square-foot Amazon fulfillment center, Datwyler Sealing Solutions’ 200,000 square-foot Middletown manufacturing plant and Breakthru Beverage’s new 285,000 square-foot headquarters.
The press release did not say how much the company plans to spend or what kind of concessions Delaware, New Castle County or Middletown is giving the company to come to the First State. The company was approved to receive grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund by the state Council on Finance Development.
“This is an investment in good jobs that will drive economic growth in southern New Castle County and across Delaware,” said Gov. John Carney in the press release. “This campus will build on our strength in biopharmaceuticals – and it’s only possible because of Delaware’s world-class, innovative workforce.”
The new Wu-Xi STA plant will be its second in the U.S. It now has eight worldwide, including several in China. It develops pharmaceuticals and provides manufacturing solutions for more than 470 partners worldwide, covering small molecules and novel molecular modalities such as oligonucleotide, peptide and various complex conjugates.
The new Middletown facility will include space for testing laboratories; manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients; and manufacture and packaging of solid dosage pharmaceutical products and sterile products, the press release said.
Jobs will include manufacturing operators, lab technicians, quality assurance and quality control staff, scientists and management, administrative and warehouse support staff.
Middletown Mayor Kenny Branner is particularly please about the variety of the jobs being brought to the site.
“WuXi STA’s selection of Middletown reinforces what we do here, adds great value to what we have been working on for many years and shows us they have confidence in us, to want to be a part of what we have built here,” Branner said in the press release.
The WuXi STA CEO said the company is delighted to be coming to Delaware.
“Delaware’s highly trained pharmaceutical manufacturing workforce and proximity to many of our customers provide tremendous opportunities to support the region’s economic growth and efforts to advance pharmaceutical development and manufacturing,” Minzhang Chen said in the press release. “We are grateful to Delaware and Middletown for their leadership in fostering a strong entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, and we look forward to collaborating to deliver groundbreaking treatments for patients.”
With growing demand for innovative technologies to help companies move forward in pharmaceutical discovery and development in the pre-clinical, clinical and manufacturing pipelines, WuXi STA provides one-stop manufacturing services for both drug substance and drug product, including oral and injectable dosage forms, the press release said.
“We win the future by attracting global leading healthcare firms like WuXi STA to New Castle County,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in the press release. “This project will bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to the area and will advance New Castle County’s goal of growing our biotech industry.”
Corporation Service Company President Rod Ward hailed the Delaware Prosperity Partnership’s role in bringing the company to Delaware. Ward co-chairs the board of directors for the 4-year-old state agency.
“The WuXi STA team worked through the DPP team with a host of partners, including the State of Delaware, the Town of Middletown, New Castle County, Delaware Technical and Community College, Chesapeake Utilities and many other regulatory and community partners,” Ward said in the press release.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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