MilliporeSigma’s expansion to its 11101 Kettle Moraine Trail facility, worth $65 million, is expected to create 50 new jobs this year, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
That job growth will strengthen the company’s ability to make a potent chemical — antibody-drug conjugates — used in the treatment of cancer patients, a MilliporeSigma news release states.
WEDC is supporting the 70,000 square foot expansion by authorizing up to $200,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years, the development corporation’s release states. The actual amount of tax credits MilliporeSigma will receive is contingent upon the actual number of jobs created, according to the WEDC release.
“Wisconsin is proud to have innovative and forward-thinking companies like MilliporeSigma develop here,” Missy Hughs, WEDC chief executive officer and secretary said in the release. “Companies have a choice when deciding where to expand, and MilliporeSigma’s decision to invest in Verona is a testament to Wisconsin’s strong business climate and dedicated workforce.”
The Press was unable to contact a MilliporeSigma spokesperson for comments on local job growth and chemical manufacturing, despite several attempts.
The company, formerly known as Sigma Aldrich Fine Chemicals, or SAFC, broke ground at its Kettle Moraine Trail space in 2008. Crews constructed the then-51,000 square foot building, a project costing $31 million that lasted until 2010.
The current expansion is doubling the size of the life science company’s building, according to Press reporting from April 2020. Workers are scheduled to finish construction in 2022, a company infoboard states.
And while the expansion is expected to create employment opportunities, it will also help MilliporeSigma increase output of what it calls a highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) also known as an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC).
The compound, according to the MilliporeSigma news release, is an “emerging class” of medicines designed to target and destroy specific cancer cells while preserving healthy ones.
There are only nine ADC’s approved for patient use globally, the release states. But the ADC industry is expected to grow to be worth $15 billion by 2030, according to the release.
That’s because even though the chemical reaps many benefits, manufacturing it comes with a set of challenges, the release states.
First, the compound’s development protocols are complex. They require strict containment and storage procedures, the release states.
Second, the people who work with ADC’s need a lot of background knowledge and expertise, particularly in how to use technologies that analyze the chemicals at the molecular level, according to the release.
But Andrew Bulpin, head of MilliporeSigma’s process solutions department, said in the release the company has more than 35 years of experience in that space.
“We have been a frontrunner in the development and manufacturing of biologics, conjugation processes and small molecules,” he said in the September 2020 release. “This investment underscores our commitment to working with innovators to bring new treatments to patients quickly and more efficiently.”