December 04, 2001

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Biotech Firm Expansion
-Novozymes invests $12 million in Roanoke Valley research and development facility -

RICHMOND - Governor Jim Gilmore announced today that Novozymes Biologicals, Inc., the market leader in the development and production of naturally occurring microorganisms for industrial, consumer and agriculture uses, has chosen the Roanoke County Center for Research & Technology for the relocation and expansion of its local research and manufacturing operation. The move from Salem will save 65 Virginia jobs and create 25 additional jobs.

“Virginia’s reputation as a premier site location for biotechnology firms continues to grow with every new expansion announcement,” said Governor Gilmore. “Novozymes Biologicals is a welcome addition to the Commonwealth’s research and development community.”

Novozymes plans to invest $12 million within the next five years. Novozymes, the world’s leading supplier of industrial enzymes, is the biotech-based world leader in enzymes. With over 3,000 employees in more than 20 countries, it is the world’s dominant player in the sale of industrial enzymes with a global market share of more than 40 percent. Based on an advanced biotech platform, Novozymes produces and sells more than 500 enzyme products in 120 countries. Since 1941, Novozymes has introduced almost every new industrial enzyme on the market, making it the world’s largest manufacturer of enzymes. Novozymes is the first company to locate in the Roanoke County Center for Research and Technology, a 457-acre business park designed for technology, biotechnology and high tech manufacturing companies.

The company’s Roanoke Valley function previously operated as Sybron Biochemicals, a division of Sybron Chemical and a subsidiary of Bayer Corp. Novozymes purchased the division in July 2001. The company’s current Salem facility could not accommodate its expansion needs. In an effort to save the existing jobs, Novozymes selected the nearby Roanoke County site.

This is a three-phase project, with the initial phase involving research and development laboratories and administration offices. The second phase, which will follow within five years, involves the construction of a new manufacturing facility that will greatly expand capacity and replace the current plant in Salem. The third phase is visualized as a site for new market production for this environmentally-friendly technology.

“Since the completion of the acquisition by Novozymes on July 1st, a tremendous amount of work has been done to develop the growth strategy for the business,” said Novozymes Biologicals, Inc. President Ted Melnick. “We worked closely with Roanoke County and the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership to convince our Board of Directors that this was the place to build our business for the long haul. A visit to the beautiful site back on November 19th really sealed the deal.”

Governor Gilmore approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Roanoke County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership and Roanoke County assisted Novozymes Biologicals with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

“Novozymes’ investment in the Commonwealth demonstrates Virginia’s ability to meet the needs of the burgeoning biotech field,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Joshua N. Lief.

Novozymes Biologicals Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary or Denmark based Novozymes A/S, the world leader in enzyme production and development for industrial applications.

“Novozymes Biologicals selection of Roanoke County and the Center for Research and Technology confirms that the Roanoke Region is fertile ground for technology growth and development,” said Roanoke County Administrator Elmer C. Hodge. “Further, the location of this worldwide leader in enzyme production in the Center for Research and Technology strengthens Roanoke County’s position to attract future international investment.”


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