ANCHORAGE - An Alaska-based home health care company plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Anchorage to make generic drugs.
Jerry Tanner, chief executive officer and founder of Immediate Care, said the plant could be operating by 2007 and could employ up to 1,200.
The region lacks such facilities and Anchorage is a prime location for shipping logistics, Tanner said.
"It's a need, and it can make money," Tanner said. "We have our niche, and our airport is centrally located for shipping out."
Immediate Care, started by Tanner in 1999, is a home health care firm that offers respite services, home health, chore services, personal care attendants, hospice care and pharmacy services. The company employs 700 and has offices in Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks and Las Vegas.
Tanner said the company would close its Las Vegas operation in coming months.
"I want to take all my energy and focus on Alaska. I need to focus on that 100 percent," he said.
Tanner said he has planned for two years. The outcome has made him confident to move forward.
"There are key questions you have to ask," he said. "I don't take things lightly and I don't want to go into a losing proposition."
In its first phase, estimated to cost $10 million to $12 million, the plant would manufacture seven lines of drugs. Tanner said the plant would manufacture maintenance drugs that patients take long term for conditions such as diabetes.
Immediate Care plans to sell the drugs in Alaska, the Lower 48 and Asia.
Tanner said he is working with chemists and on regulatory issues.
Six months to a year after the first phase is implemented, Tanner said, a second phase would expand the plant to produce 15 different lines of drugs. He estimates the cost of the expansion at around $20 million.
Initially, Tanner said, he would finance the project through loans and his own capital. At some point he envisions taking the company public.
Tanner said he wants to build the plant off International Airport Road, where he has an option to lease up to 20,000 square feet. He said he would eventually like to buy property for the facility that could expand to 40,000 to 60,000 square feet.