Athenex is a global specialty oncology pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of next generation therapies for cancer diseases and supportive therapies. Athenex began as a University of Buffalo startup Kinex Pharmaceuticals, a company that associate emeritus chemistry professor David Hangauer, Ph.D. co-founded based on a compound he developed that targets a protein linked to cancer cell survival.
1,400 new direct and indirect jobs will be created in areas such as: high-tech manufacturing, product formulation, regulatory, pharmacovigilance, headquarter staff, and suppliers and providers of service to the company. New York State, through the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, will invest a total of $225 million in the Buffalo and Dunkirk locations. Specifically:
- Dunkirk: The state will invest $200 million to create the High Pharmacy Oncology Manufacturing Facility, which Athenex will use to manufacture sterile high potency oncology drugs in a specialized, controlled environment for shipment around the world. A specialized plant such as this has not been built in North America in over 15 years. Athenex will invest a minimum of $1.52 billion in the High Pharmacy Oncology Manufacturing Facility and it will create 900 jobs in the Dunkirk area.
- Buffalo: The state will invest $25 million to expand and improve the sixth floor of the Conventus Building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for Athenex’s North American Headquarters, a formulation product development center and a pilot plant, where oncology products are perfected and refined before the technology is transferred for large scale production in Dunkirk. Athenex will invest a minimum of $100 million and is expected to create a total of 500 jobs in Buffalo.
The ribbon was cut on Athenex’s office space in Buffalo, NY in February 2016; lab work is underway and is expected to be completed in fall 2016. It is expected that the future Dunkirk manufacturing facility will begin construction in second quarter 2017, with production commencing in approximately fourth quarter 2018.
In April 2017, the ESD Board of Directors approved a grant of up to $200 million for design/build costs of the new production facility. ESD, as lead agency, also has completed an environmental review of the proposed project, persuant to the regulations of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and implementing regulations of the DEC. The ESD Board also made a Determination of No Significant Effect on the Environment.
Athenex’s partnership with New York State will accelerate the goal of converting investments made in medical research into long-term sustainable manufacturing jobs in high tech pharmaceutical products. This major expansion of Athenex will create 1,400 jobs throughout Western New York. Athenex has located its North American headquarters at the Buffalo Medical Innovation & Commercialization Hub and will be building a state-of-the-art, 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Dunkirk. The combined projects are expected to yield a $1.62 billion investment over ten years from Athenex, along with $225 million from New York State.