May 14, 2015
Ground was broken today on the new AnC Bio Vermont facility in Newport. Approximately 75 people were on hand for the ceremony including the facility’s chief scientists, as well as city and state officials. The $100+ million project is expected to take 14-16 months to construct and employ approximately 400 people once operational.
“It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point, but it’s been well worth the effort,” said Bill Stenger, one of the partners responsible for developing the state-of-the-art biotech facility. “AnC Bio Vermont is going to put Newport on the national stage in terms of being at the forefront of cutting-edge biotechnology.”
Stenger’s comment isn’t entirely hyperbolic.
Once opened, AnC Bio Vermont will be pioneering adult stem cell therapy to cure disease, manufacturing medical devices, and operating clean rooms for research and development. A recently-completed market analysis conducted by Frost and Sullivan, a nationally known market research firm specializing in multiple industries including healthcare, concluded that the market for the company’s products and services will be more than $4 billion by the year 2020. It also concluded that the demand for facilities like AnC Bio, laboratories that offer FDA-certified clean rooms as part of their business, is growing at a steep rate as more adult-stem cell lines are developed and need FDA-approved labs to conduct trials.
“Before the Northeast Kingdom became known as a recreational destination, it was a manufacturing hub employing hundreds of people,” Stenger continued. “As we all know, it’s been a while since this area has had that reputation. AnC Bio is not only going to put Newport back on the manufacturing map, it is going to make it a national leader in the bioscience field.”
When Stenger and partner Ariel Quiros announced the project 18 months ago, many were skeptical as to why such a facility and the scientists and engineers required to run it, would choose Newport, VT as its headquarters. Boston’s Route 128 corridor and California’s Silicon Valley are the natural choices to settle for those conducting such high-tech research, as those areas have the investment capital needed to support such endeavors. But Stenger and Quiros’s use of the federal EB-5 program allowed the partnership to overcome the financing hurdle. And they believe Newport’s natural beauty and rich recreational opportunities will be compelling enough to draw talent away from such crowded metropolitan areas. AnC Bio’s CEO is emblematic of such thinking. Dr. Ike Lee, a University of Michigan and Harvard educated scientist, was most recently running a biotech facility in southern California. He will now assume the helm at AnC.“
Stem cell therapy is the fastest growing, most cutting-edge segment of the bioscience field,” said the South Korea-born Lee. “This FDA-approved facility is going to be a leader in that field and it’s going to happen in one of the most beautiful places I’ve been.”
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