Sep 12, 2014

California biotech firm to hire 100-plus to make cancer drugs in University Research Park

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Karen Rivedal

A California biotech consulting firm that pledged to create at least 103 local jobs by 2017 will get a $1 million low-interest loan from the state to help it buy an under-used pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in University Research Park where it plans to make cancer-fighting and other types of drugs for other companies.

The former Mentor Biologics building, originally designed to produce an anti-wrinkle compound but never used for that purpose, had been owned by the Morgridge Institute for Research since 2010. It was sold June 30 to Pomona, California-based PSC Biotech Corp., about one year after the Morgridge Institute — a private research partner of UW-Madison — put it on the market, officials said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday at the facility at 5501 Research Park Boulevard, though drug production isn’t slated to begin there until 2015.

“This is just great news, not only for the research park, but for Madison,” said Aaron Olver, the newly hired managing director of University Research Park who formerly ran economic development efforts for the city.

“They’re a perfect match for the building and its capabilities,” Olver said of PSC Biotech. “They’re a great complement to what’s going on in the research park, and they’ll be a good resource for some of the companies in town that might want to use their services.”

“We are excited by the opportunity to do our part in meeting the high demand for cytotoxic drugs and by the vast potential that this … facility brings,” PSC Biotech CEO John Clapham said in remarks at the ribbon-cutting.

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