A pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply company in Plattsburgh has received a $1 billion contract over five years that will allow it to expand employees and infrastructure.
SterRx, a sterile drug manufacturer, has been located on the former Plattsburgh Air Force base since 2012. This week it announced it has secured a new contract valued at up to $1 billion over the next five years from an Illinois-based subsidiary of Nichi-Iko, a Japanese generic pharmaceutical company.
SterRx Vice President of Manufacturing Terry Wiley says the contract is a phenomenal opportunity for the company. “We were gearing up our facility to do contract manufacturing work and then the regulations changed and the F.D.A. got involved. And we were already operating under manufacturing guidelines. So our facility has excess capacity. And we offer Advanced Aseptic technology called Blow-Fill-Seal which is allowing us to go into the 503B compounding market with a significant advantage in terms of we’re already following the federal regulations and we have automation to take our product forward.”
Wiley notes that they have specialized in using an automated blow-fill-seal machine that forms a container, fills it with compounded drugs and then seals it in one operation. “We will expand the base. Not only will we do blow-fill-seal we’re looking at putting in syringe lines. Also under the Blow-Fill-Seal technology we’ll be doing bags for IV applications. So our base of product supply and our product portfolio is going to grow significantly. It’s outstanding for our market. Our market is very specific and the distribution is through hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices. So we will ship directly to hospital surgical centers all over the U.S.”
SterRx currently employs 45 people. With the new contract Wiley expects employment will grow to 80 this year and about 120 within three years. “Ninety percent of our staff came from a Pfizer-Wyeth downsizing so we have world class employees which has made this all possible. We’re working with Clinton Community College and Plattsburgh State to bring in interns and develop programs that will give us the ongoing workforce we need to expand.”
Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas says the success of SterRx illustrates the diversity and strength of manufacturing occurring in the region. “While we talk a lot about the transportation equipment and aerospace companies the overall diversity of our manufacturing base remains very strong. That obviously serves us very well. You don't want to be 100 percent dependent on one company or even one sector and SterRx is a good example of a continuation, albeit on a smaller scale, but of the strong association of this area with biotech with pharmaceuticals: from Wyeth which was then succeeded by Pfizer, still here on a small scale but we know exiting. But we're still keeping some of that base and activity as part of the mix and it's very exciting.”
Products from the new contract will begin to ship in March.