A small Blaine company has big plans for the biopharmaceutical industry.
Garry Montgomery, chairman and CEO of Diversified Bio-Medics Inc., located at 264 H Street, has announced his company would like to build a 75,000- to 80,000-square-foot biomanufacturing facility somewhere on the West Coast. Construction would likely cost around $45 million.
In June, Montgomery sent out requests for proposals to 10 economic development offices in Washington and California. He plans to select a location as early as the end of the year and begin construction some time next year.
Seattle was the only city in the state considered for the project.
Montgomery, 39, a native of Canada who’s lived in Blaine for more than 10 years, has talked with Rob Pochert, president of the Bellingham/Whatcom Economic Development Council about the project, but doesn’t believe Whatcom offers the same amenities as research- and academia-rich areas like the Bay Area and Seattle.
“The nice thing about Whatcom County is what it offers as far as lifestyle,” said Montgomery, “but we need to be in an area with access to R&D and universities.”
Currently in the running for the project, as reported last month by the Puget Sound Business Journal, are Seattle and the California cities of Fremont, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Sacramento, San Diego and Vacaville.
Diversified, a two-year-old company with three employees, provides manufacturing facilities, specialized systems and support to biotech companies, along with helping companies expedite their development of biopharmaceuticals.
Montgomery, who has previously worked in the dot-com industry and as a fundraiser for biotech companies, said the new facility is needed because the biopharmaceutical industry is facing a shortage of infrastructure for research, development and manufacturing, especially on the West Coast.
The new facility, which would likely be funded through private financing, bonds and construction financing, would be used primarily for manufacturing, Montgomery said.
Initially, he said, the facility could start with 50 employees and increase to 120 to 150 within a few years.
“In the end, the vision of the company is to have locations in San Diego, the Bay Area and Seattle,” Montgomery said. “That would cover the West Coast.”
While Montgomery envisions research and development and manufacturing taking place outside of Whatcom County, he would like to keep his corporate offices here. Depending on the success of the company’s present plans, he said, the number of corporate officials at Diversified could double or triple in the coming years.
For more information on Diversified, go to www.diversifiedbiomedics.com.