Indiana Partners With Evonik

Evonik in partnership with the U.S. government and Indiana will build a new lipid production facility for mRNA-based therapies.

Evonik broke ground on a $220 million facility in Lafayette, Indiana. Evonik will invest $220 million in Lafayette, Indiana. The company is building a new, highly flexible, global-scale production facility for pharmaceutical lipids in the United States. The new plant at Evonik’s Tippecanoe site in Lafayette will position the group for future growth in novel mRNA-based therapies beyond COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen its leading role as a strategic partner for innovative pharmaceutical companies worldwide. The investment into the lipid facility will help create more than 80 highly skilled jobs in the Lafayette region.

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Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Lipid Innovation Center in Lafayette, Indiana (USA). Pictured (left to right): Bonnie Tully (President North America Evonik), Christopher Fuchs (German Embassy Washington), Michael Angelastro (ASPR/BARDA), Christian Kullmann (CEO Evonik), Eric Holcomb (Governor Indiana), Harald Schwager (Deputy CEO Evonik), Johann-Caspar Gammelin (President Nutrition & Care Evonik), Thomas Riermeier (Head of Health Care Evonik), Daniel Fricker (Site Head Tippecanoe Laboratories). (Photo: Evonik)

“Our new Lipid Innovation Center will secure the health innovations of tomorrow. Through this investment we reinforce our leading position in the pharmaceutical industry. We are privileged to support the U.S. with pandemic preparedness and enable the development of cutting-edge medicines,” said Christian Kullmann, CEO of Evonik.

Evonik’s Lipid Innovation Center is being built on the grounds of the company’s site in Tippecanoe and will position Evonik for future growth in novel mRNA-based therapies beyond COVID-19 vaccines. The investment into the lipid facility will help create more than 80 highly skilled jobs in the Greater Lafayette region. An additional 300 contractor positions will be added over the project life cycle.

“Evonik’s decision to build this new facility, and add 80 high-paying jobs, in Indiana is reflective of our state’s highly trained workforce and the business-friendly environment we have worked to create,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “We are proud to support this life science related project.”

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(Photo: Evonik)

The Lafayette-based site is preferred due to its existing infrastructure, skilled workforce, and readily available technologies. Evonik currently employs nearly 680 people at its Tippecanoe site—plus an additional 150 contractors that assist with maintenance and logistics. The facility is one of the world’s largest contract manufacturing facilities for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and Evonik’s second-largest site in the U.S.

The total investment into the commercial-scale lipid facility amounts to $220 million. The U.S. government has entered a cooperative agreement with Evonik for a cost share of up to $150 million through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). BARDA promotes the advanced development of medical countermeasures to respond to 21st century health security threats and coordinated acquisition assistance with the Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND). Additional support comes from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Greater Lafayette Commerce (GLC), and Duke Energy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Evonik emerged as a key partner for leading vaccine producers in securing the availability of pharmaceutical lipids. These are molecules that make up the building blocks of living cells. In novel mRNA vaccines, they protect the messenger RNA (mRNA) and ensure its safe delivery into the cell. Lipids will also be crucial for future applications of mRNA technology in infectious disease control, cancer immunotherapy, protein replacement, and gene therapy.

As a leader in advanced drug delivery, Evonik supports pharma customers worldwide with comprehensive services for developing and manufacturing complex parenteral and oral drug products from early development to commercialization. Production is scheduled to start in 2025.