Sterile drug maker Nexus launches $250M U.S. manufacturing project

Nexus Pharmaceuticals expects to have the first stage of its new sterile drug production operation in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin up and running by 2021, with the first approved drugs being produced there in 2022. (Rendering from Integrated Project Services [IPS])

For its first 15 years, Nexus Pharmaceuticals has relied on contractors to manufacture the sterile injectable meds it develops. Figuring it is high time to do that itself, the Chicago-area company has launched a $250 million project that will give it that capability.

Nexus has kicked off the first phase of what it says will be a 10-year project to build out its first manufacturing operation in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, about 30 minutes north of its headquarters in Lincolnshire, Illinois. 

RELATED: FDA's generic competition push hits Valeant's Isuprel, a price-hike poster child


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Work on the initial phase of the project—an $85 million, 100,000-square-foot facility—is slated to begin next month and be completed in 2021, with production of drugs to start in 2022. The first phase comes with 77 new jobs. 

“As a pharmaceutical company with a significant focus on sterile injectable medicines, Nexus Pharmaceuticals understands the growing patient demand for high quality and accessible generic injections,” Nexus Chief Scientific Officer Shahid Ahmed said in a statement. “With the addition of our new manufacturing facility, we are committed to providing a more stable and reliable supply of sterile injectables—a category that is particularly susceptible to drug shortages.”

RELATED: Novartis amps up Symjepi launch to fill Pfizer's EpiPen supply gap

That point was illustrated this week as Sandoz said it was hustling to roll out Symjepi, it epinephrine injector, a rival to Mylan’s once-ubiquitous EpiPen that has been in short supply for several years because of manufacturing problems. 

Founded in 2003, Nexus is a privately held, woman-owned company. It has relied on contractors in the U.S. and Europe up to this point to manufacture its small portfolio of sterile injectable products.  

“This investment is needed to drive the continued growth for the U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturing industry,” Nexus CEO Mariam Darsot said in a statement.

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