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Biotech firm invests $28 million in Visalia

Biotech firm invests $28 million in Visalia

Life science biotech and pharmaceutical company MilliporeSigma is constructing 120,000-square foot distribution center in Visalia Industrial Park

By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN

VISALIA – One of the world’s leaders in the research and development of pharmaceutical products and biotechnology is investing $28 million into its new warehouse distribution center in Visalia.

The Visalia Industrial Park will soon be home a new state-of-the-art 120,000-square foot distribution center for MilliporeSigma, a life science leader that develops and manufactures scientific lab materials, technologies, and services in the areas of pharmaceuticals, equipment and food and drug testing.

Construction on the new site began on June 2 with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by representatives for MilliporeSigma, developer, Scannell Properties, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, and the City of Visalia. It is anticipated that construction will finish in the 2019 fourth quarter, and that it will be fully operational in January 2020. 

“Our industrial park helps Visalia to continue to diversify our economy while importing outside wealth to be circulated in the local economy,” Visalia Mayor Bob Link said. “That’s why we’re so excited to have another new community member in Millipore Sigma and development partner in Scannell Properties.”

Representatives from MilliporeSigma noted that Visalia was chosen as the location of the new facility because of its centralized location. Currently, MilliporeSigma services its customers on the west, resulting in increased freight times. The company has stated the new site is part of its plan to boost regional service and reduce dependence on third party logistics. MilliporeSigma said it is only looking at shipping domestically from the facility but said in the future international shipping could be a possibility.

“This new distribution center will give us quicker order fulfillments and faster delivery to customers, dramatically improving service for MilliporeSigma,” shared Jeff Lasselle, Head of MilliporeSigma North America Distribution. 

MilliporeSigma is the parent company for six life science brands including Sigma-Aldrich, Milli-Q, Supelco, Millipore, BioReliance, and SAFC. The company is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, an international pharmaceutical conglomerate specializing in science and technology across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 51,000 employees work for the company in cutting edge labs to advance gene-editing technologies and discover unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices. In 2017, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany—which operates in the U.S. as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials—generated billions in sales in 66 countries. 

The new MilliporeSigma facility is expected to hire 30 employees by the time they open, adding to the more than 5,000 jobs currently located in the Visalia Industrial Park. They will be looking for skilled labor to fill the positions including; warehouse managers, supervisors, operators and systems analysts. 

The new facility will feature temperature monitoring throughout the facility with specific areas built out for coolers, freezers, and temperature-controlled pallet storage space. The site will stock approximately 45,000 different products ranging from Lab & Specialty Chemicals that enable scientific discovery to the end-to-end products in drug manufacturing that meet the highest quality and purity standards. 

The new site will be compliant with the Food and Drug Administation’s good practices or GxP, ensuring quality guidelines and expectations are met per industry regulations. Additionally, the site will comply with quality management systems under ISO 9001. The Visalia facility will join 28 additional manufacturing sites across North America, as well as 31 distribution locations in the MilliporeSigma network.

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