California drug research firm plans to expand in Louisiana

    A California-based pharmaceutical research company plans to establish a facility at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center in order to study treatments for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, state officials announced today.

    Crown Bioscience, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, will create 10 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $70,000 by setting up shop in Louisiana. Louisiana Economic Development says the company will also make a $1 million capital investment in the facility and estimates the new research center will create an additional 14 indirect jobs.

    The pharmaceutical research firm, which formed in 2006, operates research campuses in China, the United Kingdom, San Diego and Indianapolis. Company officials were looking for a place to expand the firm’s research capabilities, settling on the New Iberia Research Center, which specializes in managing nonhuman primates for applied and basic research.

    The expansion project will help Crown Bioscience advance treatments for cardiovascular and metabolic disease research, Louisiana Economic Development says in a news release.

    “We chose to expand in Louisiana, and specifically the NIRC, because of the growing biomedical science community there and the operational excellence that exists at NIRC,” Crown Bioscience CEO Jean-Pierre Wery says in a statement. “We are confident Louisiana, and NIRC, is the place for CrownBio to grow as we engage in the next leading phase of CVMD research that brings drugs to the clinical phase.”

    The Iberia Industrial Development Foundation, One Acadiana and LED began working with Crown Bioscience earlier this year to bring a potential project to the region, the news release says. In addition to a lease at the New Iberia Research Center, Crown Bioscience is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs Program, among other assistance programs.

    “Sophisticated pharmaceutical research performed in a sensitive and progressive manner is essential for our state, nation and world to combat illnesses and diseases that continually pose new challenges,” Gov. John Bel Edwards says in a statement. “We’re proud that this important work will be taking place in our state and will build upon the resources of UL Lafayette and the New Iberia Research Center.”

    The NIRC will host an event Jan. 5 to welcome Crown Bioscience to Louisiana.

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