UNDBIO announcement big for Morgantown and statewide future of the health care industry | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown

UNDBIO announcement big for Morgantown and statewide future of the health care industry | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The announcement by South Korean-based UNDBIO to locate an insulin manufacturing facility in Morgantown sends a message nationwide and revitalizes the industry in the state. On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Morgantown Area Partnership (MAP) president and CEO Russ Rogerson said the announcement could pave the way for more medical or high-tech industry opportunities.

The announcement is also a key part of the recovery from the loss of Viatris and the 1,500 jobs on Chestnut Ridge Road about two years ago.

“I think we’ve shown many companies from around the country and beyond that we are a great place for pharmaceutical and other health care-related manufacturing, and I think that’s very important,” Rogerson said.

Approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a major question in the early stages of UNDBIO. Rogerson said UNDBIO has done extensive research, testing, and manufacturing of their insulin product in South Korea and has FDA approval, but only for the product.

“They’re looking for approval from the FDA for their manufacturing process, so in my mind it’s not a matter of if they get FDA approval, but when,”
Rogerson said.

The company has announced a $100 million investment that is expected to create 200 jobs initially in the West Virginia University Research Park, with the possibility of additional jobs as the company gains North American market share. Rogerson said the investment will be subject to local taxes per an agreement with WVU.

“The state incentives are based on the company investing first,” Rogerson said. “There’s no money put out on this project without it succeeding and moving forward in the process, so that builds in some protection for us.”

Rogerson said WVU brings many important benefits to improve efficiencies for the company. In addition to a steady stream of available professional employees, they also have the facilities, technology, and equipment to augment the company and serve their mission as a Land Grant university.

“The research R-1 institution and largest health care system in the state,” Rogerson said. “So, if you’re looking to do trials, using lab space and having high-quality, educated PHDs and such throughout the organization is very important.”

Rogerson and MAP bring the sustainability and community support aspects to the arrangement. By pulling together important community resources, MAP can help a company considering moving to the area gain a clear picture of what they can expect as an employer in the area.

“Having that kind of relationship, that kind of connection, that type of understanding, and knowing that’s part of the DNA of the area is extremely important because they’re investing that money not for two years, but for 50 plus years,” Rogerson said.





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