Vetter set to expand with construction of new manufacturing sites in Illinois, Germany

Seven years after buying land in Des Plaines, Illinois, that housed a Salvation Army campus, German CDMO Vetter Pharma is finally ready to build on the property.

Thursday, the 74-year-old private company revealed plans to move and expand its fill-finish site in Chicago suburb Skokie to Des Plaines, which is 10 miles west. Vetter also said it is expanding its footprint in its home country, with plans to build a plant in Saarlouis in the southwest corner of Germany.  

The new projects add to the company’s ongoing 1.5 billion euro ($1.63 billion) expansion plan, increasing Vetter’s capacity to produce injectable compounds for clinical- and commercial-stage clients.

“As an independent and family-owned company, we prioritize thoughtful and strategic planning to support our long-term business growth,” Udo Vetter, chairman of the company’s advisory board, said in a release. “With these investments we reaffirm our commitment on both continents and enable that Vetter Pharma will continue to be part of a growing market in the future.”

With the investments, Vetter says it will be in a better position to answer the growing demand for its ability to develop, manufacture, assemble and package injectable products.

In 2017, Vetter bought the 17-acre Salvation Army site for $9.2 million, with plans to build a $350 million, 1.2 million-square-foot U.S. headquarters. Construction was to begin in 2018 and production was expected to start in 2022, with plans to employ 500 at the facility.

Thursday, Vetter said little about the timeline of its plan, other than it will double the production capacity of its facility in Skokie, which is the company’s lone plant in the U.S. In April, a Chicago business news outlet reported that Vetter had “reengaged” with Des Plaines’ officials and discussed its plan to begin construction in 2025.

Vetter was equally vague on the plan for its new site in Germany, only saying that the project will be on a 125-acre site, with production expected to begin by 2030. The company added that it expects to create “2,000 new local jobs in the years to come.”

The company did not respond immediately to additional questions about its plans.

In addition to its headquarters in Ravensburg, Germany, it has production facilities in Langanargen, Germany, and Rankweil, Austria.