U.K. generics maker starts plant in Alabama

A British generics maker that selected Birmingham, AL, over a few other U.S. cities has kicked off construction on its first U.S.-based plant, a facility that will bring 5 dozen jobs to the community.

Oxford Pharmaceuticals started construction last week on a $30 million, 120,000-square-foot facility. Until it is complete, the company has taken up residence in the city's Innovation Depot, one of the elements that attracted the small company to Birmingham, along with its workforce. The company has pledged to hire 61 employees initially but has said employment could reach 200.

"We were looking at Nashville, we were looking at Huntsville. We spent some time investigating Charlotte," John Schultz, CEO of the small company, said in a statement from the Area Development Association. "With the help of Innovation Depot and the training support that we will get from the state in AIDT and the partnership with UAB, they are all great incentives to come to Birmingham that some of the other places didn't have."

Pharma companies these days can expect significant incentives from jurisdictions and politicians anxious to attract companies with a high-tech patina and high-paying jobs. Indian drugmaker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals picked Monroe, NC, last year for its first U.S. facility, a $17 million, three-unit operation that will encompass about 120,000 square feet where it plans to make solids, injectables and topicals. It is getting more than $1 million in incentives for that project.

- here's the Area Development story