Biotech company will open Oklahoma City plant in 2006

Friday, January 7th 2005, 6:05 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new biotech company in Oklahoma City will aid in the development of new drugs and research for clients nationwide.

Cytovance Biologics Inc. announced Thursday that it would open a pharmaceutical production laboratory at Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park.

William Fallon, Cytovance president and chief executive officer, said the company will immediately begin offering cell culture, purification and method development to biopharmaceutical drug developers.

The start of production at the lab is a major accomplishment for Cytovance and the research park, said Michael Anderson, president of Presbyterian Health Foundation.

"When we first started a relationship with Cytovance they gave us three milestone marks on when the company would be up and moving," Anderson said.

"This is the first one, and they've met it. It means they will be doing contract services beginning in '05. So, yes, yes, yes, we are excited about it."

The company is expected to complete a $16 million manufacturing plant and begin operations there by 2006.

Part of the financing for the plant came from a federal and state tax-credit support loan established by Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma Inc.

Construction began on the plant last summer. Cytovance will maintain its headquarters in Princeton, N.J.

"We are very excited to finally be in a position to offer services in Oklahoma City to our clients in the biopharmaceutical industry," Fallon said.

The company will be able to manufacture clinical stage protein and antibody therapeutics.

The 10 people working for Cytovance in Oklahoma City soon should be busy developing the biotech processes for clients, Fallon said.

"We expect to have our first contract and start delivering services this winter or early spring," he said.