Nexus to build $250 million drug production facility in Pleasant Prairie

Published Wednesday, July 10, 2019
by The Business Journal

Nexus Pharmaceuticals Inc. will build its first drug manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie, investing up to $250 million over a 10-year period. 

The company is buying 16 acres just west of Interstate 94, and plans to begin construction next month on a three-story, $85 million facility to produce its line of generic, injectable pharmaceuticals. That facility will create 77 jobs paying average salaries of $70,000 a year, according to a Wednesday announcement by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. 

“There is increasing patient demand for high quality and accessible generic injections,” said Nexus CEO Mariam Darsot.

“The addition of our Wisconsin facility will enable Nexus to produce a more stable and reliable supply of sterile injectables, a category that is particularly susceptible to drug shortages,” Darsot added. 

The first phase of the Nexus plant will have about 100,000 square feet and is expected for completion in 2021. It would start operations in 2022 after gaining approvals from regulatory agencies. Jobs there would include high-tech production, engineering, quality control and supply chain management.

Established in 2003, Nexus specializes in making specialty and generic drugs. Its portfolio includes nine approved medications and six generic injectable drugs. Earlier this year, for example, it gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for three new injectable drugs that control nausea, irritable bowels and aid in cell transplant operations. Based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, Nexus has been hiring third-party manufacturers to make its drugs.

Wednesday’s announcement in Pleasant Prairie is Gov. Tony Evers’ first big job-attraction announcement since taking office. The state will provide $1.5 million in tax credits to Nexus over the next four years if it hits hiring and capital spending goals.

“This is one of the most significant pharmaceutical investments in Wisconsin in years,” Evers said. “Southeast Wisconsin is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for high-value manufacturing jobs that require a skilled, educated workforce.”

The company was attracted to Pleasant Prairie through a coordinated effort that included state officials at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and private business attraction groups Milwaukee 7 and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. The company will receive additional public financing from Kenosha County.

Nexus Pharmaceuticals will build in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park, a development led by the village of Pleasant Prairie. In a strange twist, the business park land was long owned by health care firm Abbott Laboratories, which canceled its plans for a health care and pharmaceutical research campus. 

Candy gummy bear maker Haribo of America Manufacturing LLC is the first company to commit to that business park, and is to break ground next year on its plant. Advocate Aurora Health Care plans a $130 million surgery center in the business park.


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