The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County had very robust project activity in the life science and healthcare industries in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2016. The BDB facilitated the relocation or expansion of five life science companies and two healthcare companies during this period.
The largest project was KRS Global Biotechnology in Boca Raton. KRS is a compounding pharmaceutical outsourcing facility that is transitioning to drug development and manufacturing. The company’s expansion project involves the addition of 120,000 square feet of space and a capital investment of $28 million. The company will retain current 57 employees and add 160 more. Since the initial project, KRS has been an active participant in BDB projects including the South County Business Appreciation Bus Tour, the Palm Beach County Life Science Industry Study, and the Academic Leaders Council. Kelly Smallridge, President & CEO of the BDB, said, “We are so excited about KRS’ active involvement in the Palm Beach County life science community. This kind of company leadership will greatly accelerate the development of the industry.”
This year, Scripps Florida played a crucial role in attracting BlinkBio to Jupiter from Long Island, NY. BlinkBio entered into an agreement with Scripps to occupy 1,800 square feet at 130 Scripps Way, and gain access to Scripps’ world-class facilities and services. “Scripps Florida laid out a compelling case for its strong institutional commitment to supporting an emerging biotech cluster,” said BlinkBio CEO Colin Goddard. The company will invest over $1.65 million and hire 25 new employees with an average wage of $94, 880.
In addition, two other life science companies decided to relocate to Palm Beach County this year. Project Pick, an orphan drug therapy development company, will take 10,000 square feet of space, invest $2.75 million, and hire 51 employees. Project Cover, which is developing a unique oncology therapy, will hire 10 employees and occupy 2,500 square feet of space. Both companies are locating in Jupiter. Notes Smallridge, “The Town of Jupiter has made a concerted effort to attract these high-paying companies, with its specialized loan guarantee program and welcoming attitude. These initiatives are bearing fruit now, and will continue to do so in the future.”
There were two other life science retention/expansion projects and one healthcare retention project this year. Charleston Laboratories, performing research and development of drugs for nausea and vomiting induced by opioids, operative procedures and chemotherapy, as well as therapies for migraines and coughing, will invest $4 million to add 26,500 square feet of space and 25 jobs in the Town of Jupiter. Project Freckle, a Riviera Beach company doing clinical research in human nutrition, cardiometric health, and cognitive function, will invest $100,000 and add 15 jobs. Florida Community Health Centers, with locations in West Palm Beach and Pahokee, will invest $3.3 million, expand by 20,080 square feet, retain 80 jobs and add 15.
Healthcare company Via Mar Institute of the Palm Beaches decided to establish a location in West Palm Beach this year. Via Mar provides specialized treatment for eating disorders, and will hire 12 employees. Smallridge says, “We are delighted that companies recognize the significant life science and healthcare opportunities in Palm Beach County. The BDB will do everything we can to facilitate their success here.”