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August 27. 2014 6:01PM

Danish firm's purchase of shuttered plant could bring some jobs back to West Lebanon

WEST LEBANON - A Danish health care company has acquired the former Olympus Biotech plant and has already offered jobs to some of the 120 people laid off when Olympus Biotech shuttered the facility in June.

"We saw the site and said, 'Yes, this is a place where we would like to make an investment," said Ken Inchausti, Novo Nordisk's spokesman in the U.S. "We were looking at a number of places to see where we could scale up. We go to where the talent is at and we figured the talent was there (in West Lebanon)."

Inchausti said the company doesn't have a timeline for opening the plant, as it has to perform some renovations and be inspected by regulators, including the Food and Drug Administration. 

He said the plant will be dedicated to producing "active ingredients" for hemophilia medication.
He also said he didn't know how large a workforce Novo Nordisk would need. When the Olympus plant closed in June, 120 people were laid off.

"At this juncture, we haven't started talking about what the future staff increases will be," he said.

The facility was built in 1989 and was expanded about 10 years ago and acquired by Olympus Biotech in 2011. It has been used primarily for mammalian cell manufacturing, according to a statement from Novo Nordisk.

West Lebanon is the company's second location in the U.S., as it operates a facility in North Carolina dedicated to producing medication for diabetes. Producing insulin is how the company, headquartered in Denmark, made its mark in the early 20th century. Today, the company has more than 40,000 employees worldwide.

Terms of the sale were not made public.

tbuckland@unionleader.com



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