Life Science company MilliporeSigma this week opened its $65 million, 70,000-square-foot expansion in Verona, doubling its capacity to produce high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPI) for pharmaceutical manufacturers around the world and creating 50 new jobs in the area.
Officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday said the types of ingredients MilliporeSigma produce are instrumental in cancer treatments that are effective at lower doses, which can in turn help drugs treat cancer with fewer side effects.
“Targeted therapies are changing the landscape of cancer treatments in very significant ways, and the high potency APIs that will be made out of this facility are a critical component of the these therapies because of their high effectiveness in killing the cancer cells at very low doses,” said Matthias Bucerius, Head of Synthesis and ADC CDMO. “And this is a game changing element specifically for patients, because these lower dose targeted therapies have the potential to significantly reduce side effects for them.”
“Almost every one of us has been touched by this disease in some way,” said Dirk Lange, Head of Life Science Services. “The pharmaceutical industry is racing against time to find new solutions to treat patients faster and more effectively.”
The company, which is the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has more than 26,000 employees and more than 55 total manufacturing and testing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. In Wisconsin, the company operates facilities in Madison, Verona, Milwaukee and Sheboygan with about 1,700 employees. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics.
Joe Bergin, who leads the company’s operations in Madison and Verona, said the expansion is important to the company as well as the community.
“Today is a milestone. It’s very meaningful for this community,” he said. “This is a testament of the quality of the work of our dedicated workforce. With this expansion, we become one of the largest manufacturers of these types of products across the globe, which has a market potential of 32 billion by 2027. As a result of the expansion, and as a result of increased capacity, that means we need new team members. So hence, as a result, we’re announcing 50 new jobs which will have across the company over the coming weeks and months in quality, in engineering, in manufacturing, and in supply.”
Also on hand was Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Missy Hughes. The expansion was supported in part by a $200,000 business tax credit.
“It’s incredibly important to Wisconsin that we continue to support facilities and companies like MilliporeSigma but it’s incredibly important that we continue to support our companies like this that are finding solutions to challenges that have faced all of us in our families in our personal lives,” Hughes said. “I’m so thrilled to be able to see this happening here in Verona, in Madison, in Sheboygan. It’s incredibly important and incredibly exciting for Wisconsin.”
Mayor Luke Diaz called the expansion “a feather in our cap for biotech in Verona.”
MilliporeSigma has been developing multi-step, complex, and highly potent compounds for more than 30 years and continues to be an industry leader in the development and custom manufacture of these components. HPAPIs require specialized handling and manufacturing facilities that protect the safety of employees and their environment. Many potential life-saving treatments never make it to market in part due to the specialized handling requirements. MilliporeSigma’s Verona site was the second facility in the world to be SafeBridge®-certified and the company continues to meet these rigorous safety and containment requirements necessary to this day.