Aalto Scientific, a maker of purified human proteins and bulk processed human and animal sera for in vitro diagnostics manufacturers, will move its headquarters from Carlsbad, CA, to Eatonton, GA, where it will build a new $9 million manufacturing plant set to employ 80. 

The company will construct a 76,000-square-foot production and warehouse facility, as well as a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing facility to house its subsidiary, AUDIT® MicroControls, within a 26-acre section of the 150-acre Rock Eagle Technology Park. Aalto is the first company to move into the tech park.

Aalto expects to complete the construction, validation, FDA registration and ISO certification of the new facility in 2015. Production will be relocated gradually from Aalto's current Carlsbad facility over a 12- to 18-month period.

“We are moving our corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility to Georgia in order to grow our business,” Steve Mauro, Aalto’s COO, said in a statement released yesterday by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R).

According to Aalto, the new site will enable it to triple its manufacturing capacity and customer support, as well as improve logistics, turn-around-time and capacity.

Aalto is working with both Georgia’s Department of Economic Development’s EIRR (Existing Industry and Regional Recruitment) Team, as well as the Putnam Development Authority. Yesterday’s statement offered no details on what if any tax breaks or economic incentives the company will receive in return for the jobs.

“Aalto Scientific’s expansion in Georgia demonstrates the strength and vitality of our life sciences sector,” Gov. Deal said. “Manufacturing is a key element in this industry and in maintaining Georgia as the No. 1 state in which to do business. This project shows our continued commitment to the companies and workforce that call our state home and I am proud that Aalto Scientific chose to locate here.”

According to the most recent annual “Shaping Infinity” report—released in 2012 by GeorgiaBio, the Peach State’s life-sciences industry organization—pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing accounted for one in every five life sciences jobs in Georgia in 2010—3,089 of a total 15,176 jobs. 

While the segment lost 5.3% of its workforce or 173 jobs between 2007 and 2010, paced by a 326-job loss drop in pharmaceutical preparations manufacturing, in vitro diagnostic substances manufacturing made up for the loss by adding 153 jobs during the period.

Georgia’s effort to boost biopharma manufacturing received a welcome jolt in 2012 when Gov. Deal announced that Baxter International would build a $1 billion plant near Interstate 20 east of Atlanta as well as plasma centers throughout the state. Baxter said it would employ about 1,500 people statewide, with potential for hundreds more.

Baxter is constructing the plant within 160 acres it purchased in the 1,600-acre Stanton Springs business park, which spans Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton counties. The plant is expected to be completed by 2015 or 2016, with commercial production set to start in 2018.

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