Cook Pharmica Adding Jobs, Drug Line

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Indiana's life sciences sector continues to grow. Bloomington-based Cook Pharmica LLC has announced plans to invest $28 million to expand its Monroe County operations and add up to 70 jobs by 2020. The company says it will renovate and equip its Bloomington facility in order to add a drug product line.

Cook Pharmica is a subsidiary of Cook Group. The company has already begun work on its new line, with hopes of having it up and running in early 2017. Cook says the beefed-up capacity will allow it to better serve the growing biopharmaceutical industry around the world.

The company currently employs 575 associates, and says it has already begun hiring. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Cook more than $600,000 in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the growth plans. The city of Bloomington has also approved incentives.

The growth is just the latest sign of success for Indiana's growing life sciences industry. The state's life sciences initiative, BioCrossroads, says the sector has a $59 billion economic impact in Indiana, and employs more than 56,000 Hoosiers.

Much of the state's effort in the coming years will center around the $360 million Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, which will soon move into temporary space. Chief Executive Officer David Broecker hopes to have the first researchers in place in two or three months. Ultimately, he has plans for the center to move into larger, permanent space with room for up to 200 researchers and their teams.

The project is being funded by a combination of public, private and philanthropic sources. The Indiana General Assembly approved $25 million in funding, with the center raising a matching amount. Brocker expects, by the end of the year, to announce another $100 million in commitments.

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