Wisconsin giving Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals some cheddar as their new manufacturing site receives several million in state and local tax benefits
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals is getting a leg up from Wisconsin officials on a new building project.
The company has outlined a set of incentives that have become quite common as states look to compete for new manufacturing facilities and the jobs they can create.
Arrowhead is building a new drug manufacturing facility in Verona, WI, roughly 10 miles from Madison, that will have 125,000 square foot laboratory and office facilities to support process development and analytical activities. It will also contain 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Arrowhead is no stranger to the Madison area as it currently has operations around in the state’s capital.
Arrowhead was awarded up to $16 million in tax increment financing from the city. It will also receive up to $2.5 million in refundable Wisconsin state income tax credits offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). These tax benefits are being offered as incentives for Arrowhead to invest in the local area and potentially create new jobs.
The completion of the lab and office space is anticipated in Q1 2023 with the manufacturing facility expected to be completed in Q4 2024.
The ball started rolling on the project in 2021 when Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals purchased 13 acres of land in Wisconsin’s Verona Technology Park. Arrowhead is expected to spend between $200 million and $250 million to build the facilities and create an estimated 250 jobs for the area.
“We have had a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with the local biotech community and broader business community in the greater Madison, WI area for many years,” said Christopher Anzalone, Arrowhead president and CEO.
On the back of the groundbreaking, Arrowhead’s stock $ARWR managed to slightly increase, but its price is still down around 50% year to date as the biotech market continues to face a powerful bear market.
According to Anazalone, the new facilities will help support the development and the commercialization of new medicines that leverage the natural RNAi pathway to target genes involved in various diseases.
For Arrowhead, RNAi is a major focus for the company as, in 2020, The company established a partnership with Takeda targeting alpha-1 liver disease, dubbed ARO-AAT. The company has also licensed out several drugs in its pipeline to major pharma companies including hepatitis B to J&J and a drug for cardiovascular disease to Amgen, among others.
In 2021, GlaxoSmithKline paid $120 million in upfront cash a to develop and sell ARO-HSD, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals’ RNA interference drug targeting fatty liver NASH.
The company was forced to scrap its entire clinical pipeline in 2016 following deaths in a non-human primate toxicology study. The company faced a similar issue in July of 2021 when it paused the Phase I/II trial of RNAi cystic fibrosis drug ARO-ENaC after a study in rats showed lung inflammation signals.