WORCESTER – A Chinese biomanufacturing firm says it will invest $60 million in a new facility here that is expected to bring 150 jobs to the city.
Hong Kong-based WuXi Biologics made the announcement Sunday that it will be locating its first facility in the United States in Worcester.
A 70,000- to 100,000-square-foot facility is to be constructed at the new Worcester Biomanufacturing Park on the site of the old Worcester State Hospital, according to Craig L. Blais, president and CEO of the Worcester Business Development Corp. WuXi Biologics will be the park’s first tenant.
“Another great day for Worcester!” exclaimed Mr. Blais, in an email.
This will be the Chinese biotech firm’s 11th drug-substance-manufacturing facility globally, and the third outside China. The firm also has overseas sites in Ireland and Singapore.
Local and state officials hailed the news.
“The City of Worcester is thrilled to welcome WuXi Biologics as its first tenant to the new Biomanufacturing Park,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said in a prepared statement.
“As a growing destination in the global biomedical market, the city looks forward to officially opening this impressive campus and is eager to host WuXi Biologics in their first U.S. manufacturing facility,” Mr. Augustus said.
Mr. Blais said: “We are delighted that WuXi Biologics has chosen the United States, Massachusetts, but most importantly, Worcester. We competed very hard for this one and we prevailed.”
Gov. Charlie Baker said in a prepared statement: “Massachusetts is home to one of the world’s most dynamic life-sciences ecosystems, with leading companies, top-tier academic institutions, and a globally-competitive workforce. We are enriched when companies grow and invest here and are pleased to Welcome WuXi Biologics’ expansion.”
The chief executive officer of WuXi Biologics, Dr. Chris Chen, said in a prepared statement: “The new site will undoubtedly meet WuXi Biologics’ growing need for biologics development and manufacturing in the near future.
“Many partners of WuXi Biologics are located within two hours of this new site,” Mr. Chen said. “We are all very excited to initiate our first U.S. site to enable local companies and expedite biologics development in the U.S.”
Biologics, or biological products, include vaccines, blood and blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapy, tissues, and recombinant therapeutic proteins, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Biotechnology methods and other cutting-edge technologies may be used to produce biologics. Gene-based and cellular biologics often are at the forefront of biomedical research, and may be used to treat a variety of medical conditions for which no other treatments are available, according to the FDA.