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Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul
Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

Hochul celebrates groundbreaking for IMA Life North America's $30 million expansion project in Tonawanda


Thu, May 9th 2024 02:25 pm

New 80,000-square foot facility will support company’s production of state-of-the-art pharmaceutical equipment – including equipment for cancer-fighting treatments

√ Expansion will allow company to create 70 new jobs and retain 157 jobs in Western New York

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced manufacturing company IMA Life North America will build a $30 million, 80,000-square-foot facility in Tonawanda to increase its production of freeze-drying equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. IMA Life's equipment is shipped all over the world and its customers include pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer and Moderna.

“New York is continuing to bring the companies, the investment, and the talent to build the future of medicine in our state,” Hochul said. “IMA Life’s investment in Western New York will help provide the critical equipment needed for pharmaceutical companies to manufacturer life-saving drugs, while also creating the jobs needed to grow and support the health care sector.”

IMA Life North America is part of IMA Group, an Italian company that is a global leader in the field of aseptic drug processing and freeze-drying equipment, with about 6,900 employees worldwide. The company offers a wide range of technologically advanced machines, which preserve the integrity of pharmaceutical products, ensuring the maximum level of sterility and protecting both the operator and the environment.

The new building will include 50,000 square feet of production space and 30,000 square feet of office space on a 15-acre parcel located at 700 Colvin Woods Parkway, supplementing IMA Life’s existing 60,000-square-foot facility at 2175 Military Road. The large freeze dryers manufactured there can rapidly convert vials of liquid medicines and other pharmaceutical products into a powdered form that is shelf-stable and easy to transport. The product range includes blowers, washers, depyrogenating tunnels, liquid and powder fillers, freeze dryers, automatic loaders/unloaders, labelers, and isolation systems.

President of IMA Life North America Ernesto Renzi said, “We have deep respect for the life-saving medicines our customer’s process using IMA equipment, and we look forward to expanding our production capabilities and adding jobs right here in Western New York. The impressive competence of the workforce has allowed us to grow our customer base and expand the company.”

IMA Life has 157 employees based in Tonawanda and plans to add 70 more as the expansion project unlocks production increases. New York state, through Empire State Development (ESD), the state’s economic development agency, will provide up to $1,127,443 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for IMA’s job creation commitments.

Empire State Development President CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Upstate New York is becoming a global competitor in pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, thanks to the state’s strategic investments in a skilled workforce, quality of life benefits, and innovative academic-industry partnerships. Western New York was shaped by the might of manufacturing, and there’s no question that the increase of production at IMA will further add to the region’s growth.”

Montante Construction is handling design and construction on the project, which is slated to be complete by the end of this year.

President Doug Elia said, “Montante Construction is proud to construct a state-of-the-art facility for IMA Life North America. Our team created innovative design and building solutions for the new building, enabling IMA to forge ahead with a challenging project that will bring value to our region through cutting-edge products and jobs in the pharmaceutical sector. We are grateful for our partnership with IMA and the opportunity to support their growth in Western New York."

New York State Sen. Sean Ryan said, "Creating local manufacturing jobs in a major international industry is a winning formula for economic growth. Companies like IMA Life bring stable, well-paying jobs that lift our local economy, and their expanded commitment to Tonawanda is great news for Western New York.”

Assembly member William Conrad said, "The state's strategic investment in our region's pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors are securing Western New York's place in the future of health care innovation. This expansion signals the Town of Tonawanda's suitability for commercial development, and I join my colleagues in government in celebrating IMA Life North America's success in workforce development and the field of oncology drug production."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “IMA Life’s decision to break ground on a new facility here in Erie County is tremendous news for both our workforce and economy, and I thank them for working with Gov. Hochul’s team to make this a reality. This investment retains current jobs while adding new ones and further underscores our reputation as an area that’s business friendly with a workforce that can handle the job. Congratulations to IMA Life on the groundbreaking and thanks for growing here in Erie county.”

Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger said, “We are excited to see IMA Life investing in the Town of Tonawanda with a new plant and 70 new jobs. We look forward to the completion of the state-of-the-art expansion project by the end of this year and we thank Gov. Hochul for providing the high-level leadership needed to boost pharmacy manufacturing in Western New York.”

For more information, visit https://ima.it/pharma/brands/ima-life/.

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov).

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