Nexus Pharmaceuticals aims to grow Pleasant Prairie footprint as it adds drug lines

Nexus Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer of generic drugs and other products, aims to double its workforce in under a decade as it adds more production lines at its Pleasant Prairie facility.

The Illinois company first broke ground in 2019 on the $100 million project, which was the first greenfield generic drug production facility established in the United States in 30 years. That’s according to John Cook, the company’s vice president of manufacturing.

“Typically we’re pretty agnostic on the types of products we manufacture and market,” Cook said in a recent interview. “So we have products used mainly in cardiovascular areas, anti-spasmodics, some used during COVID — we have a product that’s basically an anesthetic that helps when they intubate people.”

Cook said the business targets product areas that frequently see drug shortages, in hopes of filling those gaps in the market. He noted at least 240 drugs are currently in short supply, based on FDA figures, with many of those falling under the hospital injectable market targeted by Nexus Pharmaceuticals.

In selecting the 16-acre site for its Pleasant Prairie operations — where about 85 members of its 200-person workforce are located — company leaders wanted to leave space for further expansion, Cook explained.

“We have a site master plan right now that will allow us to add four more filling lines on this site, which is something that we’re really looking forward to in the future from a growth perspective,” he said.

That meant designing and building a facility that could allow for adding more domestic capacity without disrupting ongoing production, he said. At the time, many other companies were building generic production sites overseas in places like India and China, Cook said.

The company earlier this month received a nod from the Facility of the Year Award program for this effort, which is dubbed Project Tomorrow. Cook said getting that national recognition at the award ceremony in Las Vegas was an invaluable experience for the business.


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