Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Bridget Beckman, MEDC
Biotech firms in Kalamazoo, Saline receive loans to hire seven former Pfizer scientists
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced two more Michigan companies have been selected to receive loans in the sixth round of funding under the state’s Company Formation and Growth (CFG) fund, an initiative aimed at retaining Pfizer talent and assets in the state.
“The action taken today will enable ex-Pfizer employees to lend their skills and expertise to helping Michigan companies grow and create high-technology jobs,” Granholm said. “Creating a diversified economy depends on our ability to retain highly-skilled talent in Michigan.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board today approved the funding that will be used by the companies to hire former Pfizer scientists. One was approved for a loan of $200,000 and the second for a loan in the amount of $150,000. Including today’s awards, the CFG to date has approved $7.25 million in loans to a total of 34 life-science companies in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Jackson, Livonia, Kalamazoo, Portage and Saline.
The following companies were approved for CFG loans:
- Kalamazoo-based Kalexsyn Inc. is a chemistry contract research organization whose customers include pharmaceutical and biotech companies. It is a graduate of Southwest Michigan First’s life-science incubator, the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, and occupies its own building within the Western Michigan University Business Technology Research Park. Kalexsyn plans an addition in 2010 that will double its space and accommodate additional staff. The company will use its $150,000 loan to hire three ex-Pfizer scientists.
“Southwest Michigan First thanks the state of Michigan for their continued support of the Kalamazoo region’s life-science companies,” Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens said. “The success and continued growth of Kalexsyn is evidence of what a company can achieve in Michigan when given an opportunity.”
- Research Essential Services LLC, a Saline-based contract service company, will use its $200,000 loan to lease facilities in the state-of-the-art Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center located in a former Pfizer facility in Wayne County’s Plymouth Township, purchase ex-Pfizer assets and hire four ex-Pfizer scientists.
MSF created the $8 million Company Formation and Growth fund in June 2007 to accelerate company formation and growth and job creation based on employees, technologies and high-tech equipment left behind when Pfizer closed facilities in Ann Arbor, Holland, Kalamazoo, Plymouth Township and Portage.
“Our focus on entrepreneurship is part of a concerted effort to ensure Pfizer scientists will continue to start and grow innovative Michigan biotech companies,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information about the MEDC and the Jobs Fund, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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