Nanotherapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company out of Alachua that began as a startup in the UF Sid Martin Biotech Incubator, held a groundbreaking to celebrate the start of construction on its new facility on Wednesday. In attendance were dozens of business and local government representatives, as well as Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
The new 165,000-square-foot facility at 13200 NW Nano Court — in Progress Corporate Park — is expected to completed and occupied by March 2015. The new construction is the result of a Department of Defense contract worth $135 million with the aim to reduce the overall time and cost associated with the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks and outbreaks of naturally occurring and genetically engineered infectious diseases.
The new facility will officially be called the Nanotherapeutics Advanced Development and Manufacturing Center (NANO-ADM). Over time, the ADM will offer its services and capabilities in medical countermeasures to broader customer bases, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as industry. NANO-ADM will provide flexible, single-use, disposable equipment that will fit national security requirements for the Medical Counter Measures program.
The new facility is expected to create 95 more jobs for the company — with an average wage over $90,000 — bringing Nanotherapeutics total workforce to 150 employees.
“Today is a great day for your company and the City of Alachua,” said Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper, noting that companies like Nanotherapeutics helped make Alachua’s biotech industry the third largest in the state. He also noted that 40 years ago Alachua had one major industrial complex — the Copeland Sausage company — which closed its doors in 1976 and left many in the city out of work. City leaders recognized the need to make Alachua competitive again, he said.
“And today we’ve created an ecosystem brimming with talent and opportunities,” he said, before noting that NANO-ADM will occupy the same space that Copeland Sausage once did many years ago. “It’s fitting that we open this facility on the same grounds that taught us a lesson that we’ve never forgotten. Alachua’s open for business.”
“We’re here for one reason: jobs,” said Gov. Scott. “Our people want to get to work, send their kids to a great educational system and live in a safe state. Because of this company 150 families will have a better quality of life.”
Gov. Scott then awarded Nanotherapeutics President and CEO James Talton the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award.
“This is an exciting achievement for our company,” Talton said. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support system here in Alachua.”
NANO-ADM will be designed by award-winning architectural firm RS&H, and constructed by the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.