New Castle – Accredo Health Group, A specialty pharmacy Owned by health insurance giant Cigna, it is planning a major expansion of its operations in Delaware.
Unlike corner-store pharmacies, Accredo primarily makes high-value medications that often require multiple components and temperatures. Those drugs treat complex and chronic health conditions, including cancer, hepatitis C, HIV, bleeding disorders and multiple sclerosis.
The company currently employs 87 people in a 34,000-square-foot facility it leases in New Castle, but it plans to expand to a 200,000-square-foot facility in the Newark area. Its lease at Bolden Interchange Park is set to expire in 2025, and Accredo plans to consolidate its operations in the expansion, said Josh Kurtz, Cigna’s global head of real estate.
While the lease for that new facility is still being negotiated, Kurtz told the state’s job investment board, the Council on Development Finance (CDF), he plans to add 132 jobs over the next four years. The new positions will include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, warehouse associates and managers, with an average annual salary of $60,000.
Kurtz said the new facility could be ready as early as October, but its specific use would require a significant fit-out. It includes $20 million of technology designed in-house for compounding, packaging and shipping drugs.
“It’s certainly an expensive venture,” Kurtz said. “We want to move really fast.”
Delaware is reportedly competing against Florida, Arizona and the Midwest for the expansion project, but the project was blocked from approval of state grant support, according to John Lanio, executive vice president of real estate brokerage CBRE, which was assisting Cigna on the project. This will help in getting it off the ground.
He also said that a favorable tax structure and regulatory environment, as well as a simpler licensing process for pharmacists than Maryland, helped the First State
To support hiring and construction, the state’s job investment board, the Council on Development Finance (CDF), on Monday approved grants totaling $4.62 million from the taxpayer-backed strategic fund. This is the largest grant package approved by CDF this year, exceeding $4.5 million Approval given for Agile Cold Storage in June,
This specifically includes $540,000 in job retention grants, $1.15 million in job creation grants, $250,000 in workforce training grants and approximately $2.67 million in capital expenditure grants.
Kurtz explained during Monday’s hearing that the need to expand operations was based on two growth areas: biosimilar drugs and gene therapy drugs.
The former are also known as generic drugs for biologics that Cigna hopes will help reduce costs for patients, while the latter are genetically modified drugs that treat rare disorders that cannot be treated with conventional drugs. Has not been addressed by.