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Biotech firm BioGX to invest $5 million in Alabama growth plans

Birmingham-based molecular diagnostics company BioGX plans to expand its R&D and manufacturing capabilities at a new corporate headquarters location in Shelby County, where it will beef up its workforce.

The Birmingham Business Alliance announced today that BioGX has purchased a building on Valleydale Road in Shelby County for the move from its current location at Innovation Depot, a business incubator in downtown Birmingham.

BioGX is investing $5 million in its growth plans, which will allow it to add 30 new employees to its roster of 80 today. The move to the new facility will take place in stages during 2021, the BBA said.

“While the company has been rapidly expanding its operations and looking for a new facility for over three years, the COVID-19 pandemic demanded we scale up our operations at breakneck speed to meet the global demand for our growing portfolio of products,” said Dr. Michael Vickery, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of BioGX.

In the past year, BioGX developed technologies to accelerate accurate, large-scale testing to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Read about the company’s efforts.

BioGX’s growth is another example of the growth taking place in Alabama’s bioscience industry, which is home to an 780 companies and organizations, employing nearly 18,000 people. The industry has an annual economic impact calculated at $7.3 billion.

GROWTH STRATEGY

To make the expansion project possible, the company worked with BBA and the Pelham-based economic development agency 58 Inc., advancing Shelby County’s strategy of utilizing existing office space for biotech and laboratory practices to strengthen the industry, particularly along the U.S. 280 corridor.

“As a homegrown biotechnology business in the region, BioGX is on the cutting edge of technology, and its rapid growth is something the entire Birmingham region can be proud of,” said Paul Rogers, president of 58 Inc.

“The company’s decision to expand into Shelby County represents another milestone in our innovative economic development strategy. 58 Inc. has identified the biotech cluster as a target industry, and we look forward to working with our partners to market Shelby County as an attractive location for similar companies,” he added.

Mark Brown, vice president of business retention and expansion at the BBA, said BioGX’s progression from Innovation Depot marks a significant milestone in the company’s growth.

“BioGX has grown into a leading provider of molecular diagnostics, and its presence will continue to enhance our region’s growth in life science and medical diagnostics,” Brown said. “We look forward to working with the team at BioGX on future growth opportunities.”

Drew Honeycutt, CEO of Innovation Depot, one of the Southeast’s largest business incubators, said he welcomes future success stories emerging from the facility.

“We are absolutely thrilled for BioGX’s success, and we feel fortunate to have been able to offer them a place to grow over the years,” Honeycutt said. “That being said, we’re also excited about how this will free up wet lab space in our building, which will hopefully provide opportunities for more companies to follow in BioGX’s footsteps.”

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

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