The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) joined Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid and local economic development partners for a grand opening to cut the ribbon on BioPharma Services Inc.’s new Columbia facility, which has created 40 new jobs this year. The event gave a first look at the clinical research company’s new 11,000 square-foot laboratory and clinical facility, an expansion that included a $550,000 capital investment.
“Our quality education system and competitive business climate continue to attract companies like BioPharma Services to the Show-Me State,” said director of DED Mike Downing. “This expansion complements Missouri’s strengths in medical research and bioscience and creates good jobs in an economy that continues to grow.”
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, BioPharma Services is a physician-owned and physician-run Contract Research Organization (CRO) specializing in the conduct of Bioequivalence (BE) Studies and Phase I/IIa clinical trials and bioanalysis for innovative pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. The company’s Columbia location specializes in Phase I/IIa trials investigating novel medicines and in pharmaceutical bioequivalence studies to compare absorbency rates of brand-name approved drugs to that of generic formulations. The Missouri study site is BioPharma’s first location in the U.S., allowing it to improve efficiency and be closer to its customers, whom nearly half are U.S. companies.
“Our new Phase 1 Clinical Research Facility is designed to attract best in class research for innovative and fast pharmaceutical product development,” said Renzo DiCarlo, CEO of BioPharma Services Inc. “We chose Columbia, Missouri, as our preferred location of this state of the art facility due to my positive experience with the Columbia medical community and high technology environment at the University of Missouri and within the State.”
“We are excited to welcome BioPharma Services Inc. to Columbia,” said Bob McDavid, mayor of Columbia. “The health care industry is an important part of Columbia’s economy and this Phase 1 Clinical Trials site adds another element to our growing medical cluster.”
BioPharma’s Columbia facility conducted and completed its first study this summer and just this month, it began two additional studies. The company recruits area residents for the clinical trials and provides compensation for participation. BioPharma’s new clinical facility currently houses 48 medical beds. By 2016, the company expects to nearly double the size of the facility and expand to 100 beds.
“It’s great to see tangible and positive results for our regional economy after many months of hard work by our REDI Staff and state partners,” said Todd Culley, Chair of Regional Economic Development, Inc. “We look forward to our region’s continued success in the bioscience and research field and all the jobs associated with that growth.”
BioPharma announced its Columbia expansion plans last November, projecting the creation of 12 new full-time jobs and significant part-time jobs in 2014. With continued success in its new Missouri facility, BioPharma projects to grow over the next three years and create 40-50 full-time jobs plus part-time positions. BioPharma currently employs 10 full-time and 30 part-time staff.
To assist BioPharma Services, Inc., DED has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.