Biotech company moves to Goose Creek

Cooper BioAG hopes to eventually manufacture biological products for agricultural use at its site in the Bushy Park Industrial Complex. One of the company’s founders said the goal is to meet growing demand for agriculture by finding sustainable, biologically based ways to grow more crops.

By Matt Tomsic
May 19, 2011

A biotech company has moved to Goose Creek, where it hopes to eventually develop biological products for agricultural use.

Cooper BioAG was founded by Marc Fetten, CEO of Cooper River Partners, which owns the Bushy Park Industrial Complex, and Ted Melnik, a former biotech executive from Roanoke, Va.

Melnik said the company’s strategy is to invest in other business with a specialty in biotechnology for agriculture with the intention of eventually manufacturing a biotech product in Bushy Park.

“It has existing resources to get us up and running very quickly, quicker than we could elsewhere in an office building,” Fetten said. “It really became clear during the search that this is a tremendous opportunity.”

The park has great infrastructure and industrial services, including electric and natural gas utilities as well as a wastewater treatment, Fetten said.

Melnik said agriculture is a field that has a demand for increased production, and Cooper BioAG hopes to find sustainable, biologically based ways to grow more crops. Biological products offer alternatives to chemical products like pesticides, and the company hopes to come up with innovative ways to grow crops differently and to focus on the right kind of technology.

Melnik was the president of Novozymes Biologicals in Roanoke for nine years before he retired in 2010.