Biotechnology company Cytiva, which used to be GE Healthcare Life Sciences, has announced it is expanding its footprint in Logan with an additional facility that anticipates bringing 200 more Cache Valley jobs.
Justin Meehan, Cytiva’s Logan plant manager, provided the details though the corporate office — which come several months after the divestiture of the GE Healthcare Biopharma business to Danaher Corporation, a deal finalized on March 31. It was agreed to call the business Cytiva, operating as a separate company within Danaher’s Life Sciences group.
These developments come six years after GE Healthcare Life Sciences purchased, for $1.06 billion, three of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s cell culture businesses, including the locally founded HyClone.
In his prepared comments to The Herald Journal, Meehan explained why Cytiva is expanding in Logan.
“We have a strong presence in Cache Valley, and Cache Valley is where Cytiva’s Cell Culture Media business began,” Meehan wrote. “In addition, we have strong partnerships with the local and state govts. and universities that are helping provide incentives and partnerships that are enabling Cytiva to attract and train talent.”
Meehan also said that the Logan expansion was part of Cytiva’s “long-term plan” due to the growth in the biopharmaceutical business.
“Biopharmaceuticals are the world’s fastest-growing class of medicines,” he wrote.
Meehan said the Logan expansion will be complete by the first quarter of 2021. A groundbreaking ceremony is expected in the future, but no details have been announced.
Cytiva manufactures products that aid in the making of therapeutics. According to Meehan, the company’s office in Logan, just off of U.S. Highway 89-91, is responsible for manufacturing a variety of cell culture media, including powder, liquid and buffers; “ReadyCircuit” tubing assemblies; and flow kits for one of the company’s brands, ÄKTA.
Meehan said Cytiva’s Cache Valley expansion will entail a 65,000-square-foot storage facility, which will “greatly increase manufacturing capacity” for dry and liquid media.
Within that space, Cytiva will include clean room space for the making of flow kits and tubing assemblies; a new production line for those products; “knowledge transfer and training” for constant manufacturing capabilities; and hopefully 200 new employees in addition to the 500 already working in Logan.
Asked about Cytiva’s expansion, Jamie Andrus, president and CEO of the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce, said her organization has known about the expansion for a while.
“Logan and Cache Valley are in a good position to welcome Cytiva and the expansion,” Andrus wrote in an email.
In speaking about Cache Valley’s economy during the pandemic, Andrus pointed The Herald Journal to the Department of Workforce Services’ data, which shows a 3.4% unemployment rate for Cache County after an “unprecedented surge” in April.
“While some businesses have been hit hard — tourism, restaurants, hotels — our large manufacturers have managed to move forward with production and even hiring new employees,” Andrus wrote. “I would say that Cytiva may have somewhat of a challenge to hire 200 employees, but if the wages and benefits are above the average, they should be able to fill those positions.”
Andrus believes if Cytiva is able to hire an anticipated 200 new employees, the county’s unemployment rate will go down even more.
“It will reduce the number, for sure, but to what degree? We will have to wait and see,” she wrote.
Andrus said if the unemployment rate went below 3%, it would make it difficult for manufacturers to find enough employees to fill their open positions.
Overall though, Andrus expressed optimism when it came to the area’s economy getting through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Logan and Cache Valley have such a diverse economy that we expect to weather this disruption,” she wrote.