Cambrex Corp., a contract manufacturer of small molecules and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for drug clinical trials, is expanding again in High Point to meet growing business demand for its services.


The company has purchased for $10.25 million the two buildings it had been leasing so it can “do more of what we’re currently doing,” said Brian Swierenga, vice president of operations and site director for Cambrex High Point.

“The market right now is strong for clinical contract manufacturing,” he said.

The purchase, which closed about three weeks ago, follows two recent expansions of Cambrex High Point totaling $5.6 million. The company added a new 11,000-square-foot analytical laboratory and a 400-square-foot reactor pilot plant that will bring an additional 4,000 liters of reactor capacity, boosting production capabilities by 30 percent.

The two buildings, located at Mendenhall Oaks Parkway, total about 77,000 square feet. One of them is partially occupied and leased by another bioscience company, vTv Therapeutics. vTv is a publicly traded clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that’s developing small-molecule drug candidates for treating a wide range of diseases including central nervous system disorders, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, inflammation and cancer.

Cambrex’s long-term expansion plans for the building occupied by vTv will consider vTv’s needs, Swierenga said.

“We have a long history with them and a friendly relationship,” he said.

PharmaCore purchase brings Cambrex to Triad

Cambrex established a presence in High Point in October 2016 when it purchased PharmaCore, a privately held clinical contract manufacturer, for about $25 million.

Cambrex High Point employs 74 people, up from 56 in 2016, Swierenga said. He said the company expects to hire “15 or so” more employees in 2018, pending approval by Cambrex’s corporate office.

“Companies like Cambrex are important contributors to transforming our regional economy,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of the Triad Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. “It is exciting to see their investment in workforce and infrastructure in their High Point manufacturing facilities.”

Cambrex was established in 1981 as CasChem when it acquired the castor oil and derivatives product lines from NL Industries. Through multiple acquisitions it has since transitioned from a fine chemical manufacturer to a contract manufacturer of small-molecule therapeutics.

The company offers APIs, advanced intermediates and enhanced drug delivery products for branded and generic pharmaceuticals. Its custom development and manufacturing capabilities include enzymatic biotransformations, high-potency APIs, high-energy chemical synthesis and controlled substances.

Cambrex, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has about 1,200 employees at its headquarters in East Rutherford N.J., and its manufacturing facilities in High Point; Charles City, Iowa; Karlskoga, Sweden; Paullo (Milan), Italy; Tallinn, Estonia; and Wiesbaden, Germany.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center