Tampa-based biotech business Biovest International Inc. announced on Thursday it has secured a $1.5 million loan package to expand its Coon Rapids manufacturing facility to produce personalized cancer vaccines.
The financing was part of an agreement between Biovest, the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the City of Coon Rapids and local real estate developer JMS Holdings. Biovest said under the agreement, it plans to add at least 14 high-paying jobs that range from engineers to bio-manufacturing professionals to the Coon Rapids facility in the next two years.
"Biovest is a fine example of the type of accomplished bioscience company that has chosen to be based in Minnesota with a potential to emerge as a leader in the new field of cancer vaccines," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "Biovest has expressed a willingness to work with our universities and other Minnesota-based life sciences companies to explore other areas of collaborative research that could result in spinoff technologies and foster industry growth in Minnesota."
Biovest is developing a personalized cancer vaccine for slow growing B cell lymphoma and had recently completed a Phase III clinical trial for the product.
Two years ago, Biovest had held discussions with other states for manufacturing its vaccine elsewhere. However, the company ultimately decided to manufacture the personalized vaccine in Minnesota.
Biovest made the announcement at 9 a.m. on Thursday in St. Paul. Check back here at Patent Pending for more details later this afternoon.