NantWorks, a US-based pharmaceutical company which intends to bring innovation in to healthcare by using digital technologies, announced it was to setup a new drug manufacturing plant in Vigo County, in the state of Indiana, in January 2012.
The plant will be built on a property which was earlier owned by pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The site is spread over approximately 210 acres at the Vigo County Industrial Park II, which is located about seven miles south of Terre Haute.
NantWorks will commence construction at the site upon obtaining manufacturing process permission from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The company expects to begin operations at the plant in 2015. The project is expected to create 234 jobs by 2016.
NantWorks’ plans for expansion at company history
With corporate operations based at California, NantWorks is undergoing an expansion.
California-based NantWorks was founded by Patrick Soon-Shiong. He founded two more companies prior to NantWorks, namely injectable drug company APP and biopharma company Abraxis BioScience.
The two companies were sold to fund the expansion of injectable and next generation drug manufacturing facilities.
The expansion taking place in Vigo County is a step towards achieving this objective.
APP was the only reliable supplier of heparin during a supply crisis in the US in 2008. Abraxis BioScience developed the first breast cancer drug based on protein nanoparticle technology.
Terre Haute manufacturing facility details and sale
Pfizer used to produce insulin products at the Terre Haute manufacturing facility. The company intended to use the plant to produce Exubera, an inhaled insulin product.
Pfizer, however, had to cease the marketing of the product in 2007. Operations at the plant were thereafter wound up gradually. The property has been lying idle since the closure.
NantWorks offered to buy the idle property in Vigo County. The sale is expected to be made for just $1, which is, however, subject to the approval of the Redevelopment Commission of the county.
The Vigo County Redevelopment Commission earlier intended to sell the property for $6.5m. The company will rebuild the entire facility at an initial estimated investment of $85.5m.
Drugs to be produced at the Vigo County-based plant
The new plant in Vigo County will produce injectable and oncological drugs targeted at patients requiring critical care. The drugs will be produced in the form of pre-filled syringes and vials.
Need for new manufacturing equipment and facilities
The existing facility contains equipment required for insulin production, most of which will not be useful for NantWorks. The company will, therefore, have to install a number of new pieces of equipment.
It currently plans to construct new facilities for drug compounding, aseptic and terminally sterilised drug product filing, lyophilisation, laboratories, product development, process engineering and cleanroom operations.
Construction and financial incentives offered to NantWorks by the IEDC
Construction works on the redevelopment of the manufacturing plant will begin in 2012. The work is expected to take three years to reach its completion.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has announced several financial incentives for NantWorks to locate the plant in the state. The incentives include up to $2m in tax credits, based on the operational performance of the company. Furthermore, the IEDC will provide $100,000 in training grants.
The IEDC oversees the programmes enacted by the General Assembly, related to matters such as tax credits and employee training grants.
Vigo County has also promised to consider additional property tax abatement if requested by the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation.
The incentives will depend on the number of local jobs created by the project and the capital investment made on the project. NantWorks can claim these incentives only upon completion of the project and creation of jobs. The amount of the incentive will be proportional to the invested capital and the number of jobs created.