Canadian Pharma Giant Expands US Presence with New HQ in Florida

Apotex will invest $184 million, developing a new R&D center and manufacturing and packaging facility.

By Gail Kalinoski

Apotex facility in Miramar, Fla., rendering
Apotex facility in Miramar, Fla., rendering

Broward County, Fla.—Citing the importance of the United States and Latin American markets, Apotex Inc., the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, said it will invest $184 million in a South Florida expansion, developing a new R&D center and manufacturing and packaging facility.

It is the biggest investment the pharmaceutical company has made in the U.S. and will add at least 150 new jobs in the Broward County region. The Miramar, Fla., site will serve as the U.S. headquarters for Apotex Corp. and the U.S. offices for Apobiologix. It will also house the packaging operations of Aveva Drug Delivery Systems, which produces transdermal patches. Construction has begun and the facility is expected to be completed in early 2019.

“Expanding our footprint in the U.S. is a central component of our strategy for global growth and reflects the critical importance of the U.S. and Latin American markets to our success, as well as our confidence in the future of the American manufacturing and biopharmaceutical sector,” Dr. Jeremy Desai, Apotex CEO & president, said in a prepared statement. “With generic and biosimilar medicines playing an increasingly vital role in reducing the cost of drugs, Apotex will continue making strategic investments in R&D and American manufacturing to deliver high-quality, affordable medicine to our patients, healthcare providers and stakeholders in the U.S. and around the world.”

Desai noted that U.S. regulations require the company to manufacture controlled substances in the U.S. if it wants to serve the market so expansion in Canada was not feasible. Apotex is the seventh largest generic pharmaceutical company globally with over 10,000 employees and estimated sales of $2 billion. The firm expects to spend that same amount over the next decade on research and development. It currently produces 300 medicines in 4,000 dosages and formats that are exported to 115 countries.

Apotex already has two facilities in Florida and plans to continue operating them, according to Bloomberg. Desai told Bloomberg while the decision to expand in Florida was made before President Donald Trump took office in January, “these are high-tech jobs, and obviously it does fit nicely into the current administration’s mandate.”

Local officials noted that South Florida is home to about 1,500 bioscience businesses that employ more than 26,000 people. The concentration of biomedical companies along with the network of regional universities and research facilities created the “ideal ecosystem” for Apotex to continue to grow its business in the area.

“Over the past several years, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County has worked to develop this region into the destination of choice for the most advanced companies in the biomedical field,” Bob Swindell, president & CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, said in a prepared statement.

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam stated, “With one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, Miramar remains an attractive city for companies to grow and prosper. Our city has been intentional in attracting target market firms like Apotex.”