Spokane pharmaceutical manufacturer Jubilant HollisterStier is adding 200 more jobs as part of a $92 million expansion.
The company, a subsidiary of India’s Jubilant Pharma Limited, also has reached a deal to produce a new COVID-19 vaccine candidate for U.S. and Canadian markets.
Under an agreement with Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company Ocugen, it will manufacture Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in India, Jubilant said.
The company is reportedly the only pharmaceutical manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in the state of Washington, capable of producing up to 500,000 doses per day.
Jubilant HollisterStier develops sterile injectable products used globally to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer and fungal infections.
Jubilant’s existing 230,000-square-foot manufacturing plant can produce 110 million vials per year via two fill lines. Jubilant President Amit Arora said the expansion will increase capacity by 50%.
The 50,000-square-foot expansion will bring several new tools to the Spokane plant, including a high-speed injectable liquid filling line, said Arora.
The company hopes to break ground sometime before winter, anticipating a 2024 completion.
Not counting jobs coming with the expansion, Jubilant HollisterStier employs about 800 workers, including 300 hired locally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of last week, Jubilant has already hired for 40% of the jobs coming with the expansion, Arora said. He said the new hires are all from the Northwest.
Arora said plans for the $92 million expansion have been in the works for about 18 months, as the company was working 24/7 to meet customer demand even before the pandemic.
Jubilant, however, is not planning to reduce its workforce whenever the pandemic subsides.
“COVID or no COVID, we would have expanded and added this plant just to meet existing demand from non-COVID products,” Arora said. “If COVID continues, which we believe it might for some time with booster shots coming up and all that stuff, we will continue to support our American and our global needs as they rise.”
Jubilant HollisterStier announced earlier this year the company is working with Novavax, an American biotechnology company, to provide fill-finish manufacturing services for the production of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. Novavax announced Monday the vaccine demonstrated 90.4% overall efficacy, and 100% protection against moderate and severe disease, in a clinical trial with 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the U.S. and Mexico.