Genezen Labs pumps up plan for Fishers facility after private-equity investment

Genezen Laboratories Inc. says new funding from a Massachusetts-based private equity firm will allow it to expand its plans for a new production facility in Fishers Crosspoint Business Park.

Genezen is contract development and manufacturing organization focused on cell and gene therapy using viral vectors. In April, the biotech company announced plans to move out of the Launch Fishers startup co-working space and invest $7.8 million in a facility of its own.

Now, Genezen CEO and Chairman Bill Vincent said the company’s plans have grown, and a majority investment from Ampersand Capital Partners will allow Genezen to outfit 25,000 square feet at 9900 Westpoint Drive with new laboratories and clean rooms.

Vincent said the plan now calls for the facility to be expanded in phases, with an eventual cost of well over $50 million.

He declined to say how much Ampersand is investing in the company.

Genezen’s new product development labs are expected to come online by mid-year, and the clean rooms will be operational sometime in the fourth quarter.

“This time next year, we should be making product in there,” Vincent said. “We’re looking at the next 12 to 24 months at this point. Who knows where we go beyond that.”

Vincent said Genezen has secured roughly $1 million dollars of tax incentives over the next five years from the city of Fishers and the Indiana Economic Development Corp., contingent upon its creation of 36 new jobs with an average annual salary of $75,000.

He expects to see more growth than that, though.

“Once we get close to having the lab completed, we’ll be hiring quite a few scientists,” Vincent said.

Though Genezen currently has just nine full-time employees, Vincent expects the company’s total workforce will climb to the mid-30s by early next year. Within the next four years, Vincent thinks that total will be closer to 80.

Vincent said those incentives played a big part in Genezen’s decision to grow where it was planted.

He said Ampersand invests primarily in businesses on the East Coast, but the private equity firm has recently turned its attention the Midwest.

Ampersand is a middle market private equity firm with more than $2 billion of assets in the health care sector. The firm has offices in Boston and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Vincent said he’s been excited by the growth Fishers has seen since he started Genezen over a decade ago, and he’s even more encouraged by the growing number of contract development and manufacturing organizations investing the city—including INCog BioPharma’s planned facility.

He said Genezen signed a 10-year lease on the space, and Indianapolis-based Cushman & Wakefield has already offered the company a five-year extension.

“We’re excited 2020 is behind us and we’re starting out 2021 in a good position to grow and go forward,” Vincent said.

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