SOURCE: Cook Pharmica LLC

October 28, 2005 15:00 ET

Cook Pharmica Finishes Construction on $70 Million Biotech Plant

Pharmica Anticipates Employing Hundreds in Years to Come

BLOOMINGTON, IN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 28, 2005 -- Cook Pharmica LLC, the newest Cook Group company, has completed construction on a $70 million facility to provide manufacturing services to the burgeoning biotech industry.

Cook Pharmica is one of a handful of contract manufacturing services facilities in the Midwest to use bioreactors to produce monoclonal antibodies, the basis of biotech pharmaceutical ingredients that target receptors within cells to deliver therapeutics.

Currently, 35 percent of the pharmaceuticals produced are created through biotechnology. That number is expected to rise to 70 percent of all pharmaceuticals in the market by 2012. There are more than 300 biotech drug products and vaccines currently in clinical trials targeting more than 200 diseases, including various cancers, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and arthritis.

Cook Pharmica will be the first among its peers to offer Webcam services via secure Internet connections to its customers, the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies, pending client approval. This innovation will enable both clients and regulatory agencies to view production as it occurs to help ensure the highest levels of quality control and customer satisfaction.

"We are pleased to continue the Cook tradition of innovation 'firsts' with Cook Pharmica," said Cook Pharmica President Jerry Arthur. "We also look forward to doing our part to fulfill the promise of moving Central Indiana from a Rust Belt to biotech economy to create high-tech jobs for Hoosiers and help reverse the state's brain drain."

Cook Pharmica renovated the former Thomson Consumer Electronics television assembly plant to create the 124,000-square-foot facility. At one time, the building housed the world's largest color television assembly plant.

"The expansion of a high-caliber life sciences company like Cook is important to the growth and diversification of Indiana's economy," said Gov. Mitch Daniels. "Cook will offer Hoosiers high-paying jobs in the life sciences, an industry that is ripe for continued growth in the state."

Cook Pharmica is expected to add 200 jobs to the Bloomington-area economy once Phase I operations are at full scale. Some manufacturing could begin as early as the third quarter of 2006.

"There is real opportunity for Bloomington to market itself to the players in the biotech industry," said Steve Bryant, director of the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership. "There is considerable potential for many biotech companies to see Bloomington as an attractive community to live and work, while staying close to their manufacturing partner."

Eventually, the Cook Pharmica facility could house several hundred employees and occupy as much as 450,000 square feet of space. During the facility's development, the company worked closely with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, BioCrossroads, Indiana Health Industries Forum, Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership, local and state government agencies and major research universities in the state.

Purdue University and Indiana University are ranked No. 1 and No. 3 nationwide in their analytical chemistry programs, which include the study of proteomics or protein sciences, key to understanding and creating biotech drugs.

"We hope this plant can help spur the start of a mini-Silicon Valley for biotech in Indiana," said Cook Group Chairman Steve Ferguson. "Researchers and entrepreneurs affiliated with biotech startups and Indiana's great research universities can use this facility to spawn new companies and new ideas. Cook Pharmica also will do its part to connect its global customers to other potential partners in Indiana."

Cook Pharmica will grow cell cultures for small biotech companies without production capabilities, as well as large biopharmaceutical companies in need of additional capacity. The plant has the ability to manufacture quantities large enough for clinical trial use and small-scale commercial use.

"Cook Pharmica capitalizes on our state's substantial advantages in biotech production, and does so by taking the next big step of bringing in a whole new group of young biotech companies who will test and manufacture their discoveries here in Bloomington, Indiana," said David Johnson, BioCrossroads president and CEO. "It's a wonderful story of insourcing opportunity, rather than outsourcing jobs, in one of our state's most promising sectors for future high-skill growth."

In addition to manufacturing, Cook Pharmica will provide the following services: cell banking, analytical development, process development, and stability storage and testing.

Cook Pharmica will provide clients with a flexible, scalable and transferable manufacturing process, a key competitive advantage. It also can expand its manufacturing capabilities to support its clients' expanding product needs.

Customers could be using Cook Pharmica's development services as early as the first quarter of 2006. Manufacturing can begin as soon as the plant undergoes extensive testing to ensure that it operates as it has been designed. Equipment will be tested to ensure it produces consistent results.

Construction on the Cook Pharmica facility was complete in 10 months, substantially faster than the industry standard of 18-36 months.

"We are an agile, privately owned company that can make educated decisions in a short amount of time," said Roger Brunkow, Cook Pharmica director of operations. "We plan to carry this philosophy into the next phase of development and begin serving customers in 2006."

The world's largest privately held manufacturer of medical devices with international headquarters in Bloomington, Ind., COOK® (www.cookmedical.com/) is a leading designer, manufacturer and global distributor of minimally invasive medical device technology for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Since its founding in 1963, Cook has created innovative technologies for drug-eluting and bare metal stents, aortic and vascular endografts, catheters, wire guides, introducer needles and sheaths, embolization coils, medical biomaterials and contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, vena cava filters and other minimally invasive medical devices for radiology, cardiology, urology and OB/GYN, critical care medicine, surgery, gastroenterology, bone access and endovascular therapies.

Contact Information

  • News Media Contact:
    David McCarty
    Director of Public Relations
    COOK Inc.
    812-339-2235 ext. 2387
    317-709-6941 (cell)
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    Lori Pugh
    Hirons & Company Communications
    317.409.3730 (cell)
    317.977.2206 ext. 224
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