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Ribbon cut on $1.2 billion plant

Tia Lynn Ivey News

An official ribbon cutting was held last week to celebrate the grand opening of Shire’s $1.2 billion manufacturing plant in Stanton Springs’ Industrial Park. Morgan County, one of the four counties responsible for the development of Stanton Springs, will receive a 15 percent share of Shire’s tax abatement payments beginning in 2019.

Shire, a global pharmaceutical company, which specializes in treating rare diseases, built the plant in 2015 and received FDA approval for the site to produce the company’s plasma product, GAMMAGARD LIQUID.

“The official ribbon cutting ceremony is the culmination of more than six years of work to construct the state-of-the-art facility and receive FDA approval,” said Gabe Khouli, communications lead for Shire’s Georgia plant.   “The site is also planning to submit its application to the FDA seeking approval for its second product, an albumin therapy, in the following weeks.”

State and local leaders joined Shire Officials to celebrate the next phase in the manufacturing plant’s future.

“The facility you’re in today represents a new standard for biotech manufacturing that is already being adopted across the globe,” said Carlos Soto, head of Shire’s Georgia Site.  “The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art plasma manufacturing equipment and processes, including robotics and automation, and will increase Shire’s manufacturing capabilities by approximately 30 percent once fully ramped up.”

“This state-of-the-art facility is an amazing economic development win not only for this community, not only for the bioscience ecosystem that we’ve created here in Georgia but really for the entire state,” said Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.   “I think is just the beginning and I’m excited about the innovations and life-changing that are going to come out of this facility over the years, so thank you all today.”

Dayna, Fladhammer, Shire’s immunology patient engagement director, moved the audience will compelling personal stories of how Shire’s work has improved the lives of her own children.

“As you walked into this building, you might have seen this amazing, phenomenal light. The light that just shines in and you might have been impressed with the size of it or the thought that went into it. When I walk into this building, I see the people who are standing up here. These are the employees who make my children’s medicine. These are the people that make it possible for my children to go to school. The people standing and sitting up here on the top are the reason my children have a future,” said Fladhammer. “I hope that more than anything that when you leave this building you will remember that what is done here matters. It matters. We are real people on the other side of this medication and we have hopes and we have dreams and we have spent a lifetime looking for answers.”

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