While city officials say Bothell is, in general, holding its own during the current economic downturn, one local company has called at least a temporary halt to what had been some imminent, major expansion plans.
Bothell’s CMC Icos Biologics President Gustavo Mahler said Jan. 14 the company had put an indefinite hold on a $35 million expansion of its local plant.
The expansion could have added up to 200 jobs over three years at CMC Icos’ facility at 22021 20th Ave. S.E., according to Mahler. The project was to have started this year with possible completion in 2010.
What happens now for the firm?
“We are waiting for the right moment,” Mahler said in regard to the expansion project. He said the firm would act “when we see some signs from the market and from our customers that things are going better.”
Mahler hinted that right moment might not arrive for some time. He said the pharmaceutical industry is one that experiences long economic cycles, and Icos officials have concerns about industry companies simply running out of development money.
For now, Mahler said the postponement of the expansion won’t affect the company’s current operations or its roughly 140 employees. But he also added company officials are in the process of reviewing the manufacturer’s 2009 spending plan.
The Bothell plant manufactures pharmaceuticals for other firms on contract. In July of last year, the company announced the reopening of the local plant after a $3 million remodeling.
At the time, Mahler talked about adding and improving Icos’ infrastructure at its 15,000-square-foot facility. The expansion added about 35 jobs.
“Starting operations in our remodeled facility is a significant milestone toward commercial world-class manufacturing activities in Bothell,” Mahler said after completion of the improvements.
In its present form, CMC Icos came into being in November 2007. The company began as the development and biologics manufacturing arm of Icos Corp. The company was first bought out by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company and later by Denmark-based CMC Biopharmaceuticals.
The Bothell facility is CMC’s major American presence, Mahler said.