Healthy home BUSINESS
MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012
Science firms finding Cobb to be ideal location to do business By Katy Ruth Camp email@example.com
MARIETTA — Companies and research institutions that make up three of the nation’s fastest-growing industries — biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences — are quickly making their homes in Georgia and Cobb County. And many experts say those industries result in more jobs — often well-paying jobs — and millions of dollars for the local economy. “These are some of the areas that most everybody in the country and communities like Cobb are very interested in getting to locate in the community,” Cobb Chamber CEO David Connell said. “These are the kinds of industries that cluster together. If you start bringing some of these biomedical, biotechnology companies together, they start clustering around each other in their locations. Together they can create some critical mass and momentum.” Connell added that the positions these companies hire, such as scientists and researchers, often bring residents who are invested in their communities through community service and financial support. “They also bring other jobs in industries related to them. There are not many industries that are growing in this economy, but these are fields that are holding their own because they are so closely linked to the health-care industry, which continues to grow,” Connell said. At least two major companies in the field — Quintiles, and Osmotica Pharmaceutical — now have a presence in Marietta. The Durham, N.C.-based Quintiles has been in Marietta for three years after the company outgrew its former Smyrna facility. Osmotica Pharmaceutical announced in August it was opening a research, development and manufacturing office in Marietta.
J.J. Spegele, vice president and general manager for Quintiles Laboratories North and South America, right, talks with Jainali Patel, a medical technologist. Quintiles is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical services provider that offers clinical, commercial, consulting and capital solutions. Development Authority of Cobb ca a $564,539 personal property Osmotica’s new Marietta tax break on Dec. 5. Brooks research, development and man- County to change the perceived “business as usual” atmosphere Mathis, who serves as the ufacturing operation is located at the Authority. Prior to Decem- Authority’s executive director in in the former Solvay site off ber, details of the tax deals being addition to his position as vice Sawyer Road on the east side of president of economic developused to lure companies to Cobb Interstate 75 in Marietta and is ment for the Cobb expected to create 144 jobs in Cobb. ‘These are the kinds of industries that clus- Chamber, also pledged $100,000 in cash to Osmotica CEO ter together. If you start bringing some of Osmotica for training or Forrest Waldon said these biomedical, biotechnology companies relocation. company officials The state is expected chose the Marietta together, they start clustering around each to give Osmotica a site because of the other in their locations. Together they can $300,000 Regional Ecoarea’s skilled worknomic Business Assisforce and the support create some critical mass and momentum.’ tance grant for machinof the city, county — David Connell, Cobb Chamber CEO ery and equipment, and and state, including $975,000 in state tax approximately $2 credits for creating 144 new jobs, County were not made public million in tax abatements over Mathis said. and sometimes were not even the next five years. The 400-employee Solvay made available to the Authority The tax break was not comPharmaceuticals, which had been pletely uncommon in the county, members charged with approvin Marietta since 1986, began its ing them. but in December, the growing relocation to Chicago after being The Authority approved a number of incentive requests sold in 2009 to blue-chip drug final resolution granting Osmoticaused some members of the
maker Abbott Laboratories for $6.2 billion. It left behind 33 acres and three buildings with a total of 195,000 square feet. Osmotica bought 29 acres and 90,000 square feet of building space from Abbott on Aug. 3. Osmotica executives had their administration team on site by December and have also started fielding applications. J.J. Spegele, vice president and general manager for Quintiles Laboratories North and South America, said he believes government officials are particularly interested in attracting companies such as his because the companies are growing; they attract a talented and skilled workforce; and they hire a variety of employees, from hourly workers to cover Quintiles’ light manufacturing capabilities all the way up to senior scientists. Quintiles is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical services provider that offers clinical, commercial, consulting and capital solutions. Spegele said the company has offices in 60 countries and employs more than 22,000 people. In addition, the company helped to develop or commercialize all of 2010’s top 50 best-selling products or compounds. Spegele said the Marietta location provides central laboratory services and support for clinical trials of drugs and products. Spegele said the company thrives in Cobb because the county provides accessible transportation, and he echoed Waldon’s beliefs that the area’s supply educated residents, specifically from colleges such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, supplies a skilled workforce critical to his company’s success. “We’re dependent upon a talent pool that’s deep in the health sciences, and this area is able to provide that,” Spegele said. University of Georgia Economic Forecasting Director Jeff Humphreys said during a recent Georgia Competitiveness Initiative summit that Georgia business See Home, Page 9BB
Marietta Daily Journal Progress 2012