Canadian pharmaceutical company brings 60 jobs to Charleston

By Liz Segrist
Published May 5, 2014

A Canadian biopharmaceutical company plans to invest $1 million and create 60 jobs in North Charleston, according to an announcement from the S.C. Department of Commerce today.

Quebec-based Aeterna Zentaris Inc. develops treatments in oncology and endocrinology. The company selected Charleston County for its global commercial operations with plans to transition to a commercial-stage operation over the next year.

The company plans to begin operations in the SCRA Applied Research Center on International Boulevard in North Charleston. SCRA plans to relocate in October to its new office in the Nexton community in Summerville as the Boeing Co. expands its 787 Dreamliner facility to SCRA’s current location. Aeterna will determine where to locate long term at that time, according to SCRA spokeswoman Micki MacNaughton.

Over the next five years, Aeterna Zentaris expects to expand its staff to support the areas of commercial operations, business development, regulatory and quality assurance, manufacturing management, clinical and product development, and various administrative functions.

Aeterna plans to establish strategic partnerships with the Medical University of South Carolina and other clinical and research facilities in the area as part of its research and development.

“Charleston is one of the most thriving and exciting business communities in the United States, and we are looking forward to becoming a part of it,” said David Dodd, president and CEO Aeterna Zentaris, who assumed the helm last April.

MUSC, SCRA, the Horizon Redevelopment Project and quality of life, as well as the region’s concentration of health care professionals and research scientists, were critical factors in Aeterna Zentaris’ decision to locate in Charleston, according to Bob Whitten, board chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits for the project.

“We are delighted that Aeterna Zentaris will soon call Charleston home,” SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney said in a statement. “It has been our pleasure to help facilitate their move to the area, and we welcome them to South Carolina.”

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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