FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Patheon, a leading global provider of high-quality drug development and delivery solutions and pharmaceutical services announced it is investing $45 million dollars across their sites globally. The Florence County site along East Old Marion Highway is a part of that investment.
Patheon will be adding commercial spray drying capabilities. WMBF News talked with Mike Cruskie the Executive Director & General Manager at the Florence County site. He said, "Florence was really a huge contributor to the industry and with Roche downsizing and thinking about closing the site and with Patheon taking it over, it really puts Florence, South Carolina back on the map from an A. P. I. which is the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient perspective."
Cruskie said when Patheon took over the site in February 2017 it was on shut down mode. "We immediately put it into a start up, start fast and grow mode. It's exciting though, everyone has done a really good job pulling it all together." He said the majority of the employees formerly employeed by Roche moved into their role in Patheon and kept similar responsibilities. The main site there are around 180 employees and Cruskie said at the smaller on on Technology drive, there are 120.
"Basically we do everything for our clients from making the pharmaceutical ingredient to formulating it and actually putting it into the capsule or pill that the patient would take," Cruskie stated.
The investment adding the commercial and development spray drying to the Florence County site, Cruskie said will hopefully double the jobs.
"'Putting the commercial spray drying here, you're bringing it closer to the API, the active pharmaceutical ingredient. You're essentially shrinking the hand off, now we can make it we can spray dry it, and it can immediately go to direct product," Cruskie explained.
Ultimately, it will shrink down the hand off in the supply chain. The engineering has already begun and the footprint of the new addition will be 15,000 square feet next to the commercial manufacturing building. Cruskie said that building has been operational the last 20 years. Patheon is currently re-commissioning the pilot plant that shut down 6 years ago.
The current 300,000 square foot facility costs around $850 million dollars, and Patheon expects it to be well over $900 million once more growth occurs. Construction on the new spray drying facility will begin Fall 2018 and the goal is to be complete by January 2019.