New York biotech moves ahead with $200M plant

This is a rendering of the $210 million API plant New York biotech Athenex intends to build in Dunkirk, New York. (Athenex)

A $200 million-plus manufacturing plant announced by a New York biotech nearly two years ago is moving forward. Buffalo-based Athenex has hired a German company to build the facility, which will be paid for largely by grants from the state.

In an SEC filing, Athenex reported it has signed an agreement with the U.S. unit of M+W to build the facility in Dunkirk, New York, at an estimated cost of $205 million to $210,000 million. When the multiphase project is fully built out, it is projected to be 320,000 square feet and employ about 450 workers.

The state in February 2016 promised about $200 million to the project based on milestones and has provided the company with another $25 million to expand its headquarters in Buffalo.

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Athenex was founded as Kinex in 2002 at the University of Buffalo and received millions of dollars from local venture capital investors for its work in oncology. It says it has six major clinical-stage drug candidates.

The company also has indicated it has a deal with China's Chongqing municipal government to build two drug manufacturing plants at Banan where it can produce high potency oncology active pharmaceutical ingredients. It also has said it has an API plant in Chongqing that it had acquired from Polymed/Taihao, but that the facility is near capacity.  

The company last week announced that Chinese authorities had accepted its new drug application for paclitaxel, an oral formulation of the chemo drug that Celgene markets as Abraxane.