DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB)- A pharmaceutical company that is perfecting a cancer treatment drug may be just what the doctor ordered for Dunkirk’s economy.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls it a ‘game changer’ for Dunkirk. The pharmaceutical company called Athenex just received FDA approval last month to advance development of its cancer drug Oradoxel. Athenex is based in Buffalo’s medical corridor and now plans to expand in the Conventus building, creating five hundred new jobs for it’s North American headquarters there. The company will also build a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant on what is now vacant land just outside the Dunkirk City line on Route 5.
The Dunkirk operation will bring nine hundred more jobs, according the Athenex CEO, Dr. Johnson Lau.
“Between three and five years after the location and the plant is being built, between three to five years are going to hit the number,” he said.
They are good paying medical jobs, according to SUNY Polytechnic CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros.
“A ‘bio-job’, a technician is between $45,000 and $60,000 dollars starting, plus you ramp it up. Most of the jobs are high end Masters, PHDs, you’re talking over $100,000 per year,” Kaloyeros said.
Republican Andrew Goodell represents Dunkirk in the NY State Assembly.
“All of us have been touched by somebody who’s gotten cancer and the residents of this area will now be helping other families survive that experience,” Goodell said.
“That is a major, major development,” said Governor Cuomo, who made the announcement Thursday morning in the auditorium of Dunkirk High School.
Dr. Lau says he expects that construction will begin on the Dunkirk plant in April. The company plans to invest $1.6 billion in western New York and receive a matching grant from NY State totaling $225 million.