East Rutherford-based Cambrex expanding facilities … in Midwest

The good news: East Rutherford-based Cambrex announced Thursday that it is building a 21,000-square-foot research & development facility at one site, doing a 21,000-square-foot renovation in another and adding a 9,000-square-foot expansion at a third.

The not-so-good news: The company’s growth is happening outside of New Jersey.

Cambrex, a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization that provides drug substance, drug product and analytical services across the entire drug lifecycle, is going big in the Midwest.

The new, 21,000-square-foot R&D facility is in Minneapolis, where it will expand the company’s capacity for small molecule development and manufacturing. The new facility, which will specialize in analytical and chemical development for pharmaceutical drug candidates, will add 40 new jobs over the next 2-3 years.

The facility will operate as an extension of Cambrex’s flagship facility in Charles City, Iowa — which is where the other two projects will be.

Cambrex will simultaneously launch a multiphase, 9,000-square-foot expansion and 21,000-square-foot renovation project in Charles City. The expansion will add a new quality control laboratory and administrative office space, which will bring 40 new jobs at the site. The expansive renovations will enhance and modernize the existing quality control and research and development facilities.

For those who question incentives, know this: The Iowa Economic Development Authority board awarded the company tax benefits and $300,000 in direct financial assistance to support the expansion through the state’s High Quality Jobs program.

To be clear: There is no expectation that the company will build manufacturing facilities here.

That being said, Cambrex CEO Thomas Loewald said the company is committed to the U.S.

“Our new facility in Minneapolis will double our analytical and chemical development footprint in the Midwest, providing clients with easy access to state-of-the-art capabilities and top scientific experts,” he said. “We continue to invest in our U.S.-based footprint to support the demand for high-quality (active pharmaceutical ingredient) development and manufacturing.”

This investment follows an earlier $50 million expansion in Charles City that was completed in the first quarter of 2022, establishing Cambrex as the largest, most advanced active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing site in the U.S.

The facility is located on a 45-acre property and produces a wide range of APIs and pharmaceutical intermediates, including highly potent molecules and controlled substances.