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Biotech Jobs in Rhode Island Expanding

Posted on October 21, 2008

One company’s expansion will help create new biotech jobs in Rhode Island.

Neurotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of sight-saving therapeutics for chronic retinal diseases, recently announced the opening of a new 27,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

“High tech manufacturing in the biotechnology industry is a critical component of our economic development and job growth strategy,” Governor Donald L. Carcieri said in a press release. “I commend Neurotech for their commitment to expand operations and create new job opportunities here in Rhode Island, and am pleased to join the company in this exciting celebration today.” Neurotech was approved for a $4 million financing to help pay for the cost of equipping the facility.

“We are extremely pleased to locate our manufacturing facility in Cumberland, RI and to have the support of the state in helping us equip the facility,” Ted Danse, President and CEO of Neurotech, said in the release. “Due to the state’s support we were able to finance the costs of the manufacturing equipment at a very attractive cost of capital. We are looking forward in continuing to work with the State as we continue to develop our unique technology and expand our infrastructure.”

The Company’s lead development program is NT-501 for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa and the dry form of age-related macular degeneration. NT-501 is an intraocular, cell containing polymer implant designed to provide continuous, long-term release of the therapeutic protein Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor directly into the back of the eye by means of the company’s proprietary Encapsulated Cell Technology. CNTF, a well established neurotrophic factor, rescues dying retinal photoreceptors and protects them from degeneration.

“Through the support of our RIEDC financing tools, we were able to assist Neurotech, a very promising Rhode Island biotechnology company, grow and expand their operations in our state,” Saul Kaplan, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, said in the release. “Strengthening Rhode Island’s life sciences sector and creating more high-wage jobs for Rhode Islanders is a very high priority of our Economic Growth Plan.

“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together to help great companies grow and expand here,” Kaplan added. “We are proud of Neurotech’s success and recognize the importance of assisting promising biotechnology companies as their therapies move from the lab to commercialization.”

The opening of the facility was assisted by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, the Rhode Island Industrial Facilities Corporation and the Rhode Island Industrial-Recreational Building Authority.

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