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Oxford Pharmaceuticals to invest $29 million in Alabama facility

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — British startup Oxford Pharmaceuticals LLC announced plans today to invest $29.4 million to build a 120,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Birmingham that will employ as many as 200 people when fully operational, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance.

Oxford Pharmaceuticals’ facility in the Jefferson Metropolitan Park at Lakeshore will create 61 jobs when it opens in 2016. Oxford Chairman John Hoffmire said Birmingham was chosen over other locations because of its workforce, its robust health care sector, and a recruitment effort that included a number of teams.

“Oxford Pharmaceuticals has made the decision to locate a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility in Birmingham over other competing markets because of many positive factors, including a good employment base, a great history of health care-related businesses in Alabama and a tremendous recruiting effort by the state, county, and city leaders,” Hoffmire said.

The Oxford, England-based startup worked closely with the Alabama Department of Commerce, AIDT, the City of Birmingham, the Jefferson County Commission, the Jefferson County Economic Industrial Development Authority, and the BBA on the project. Incentives totaling nearly $5 million have been committed to the project.

Oxford will be able to take advantage of free rent from Innovation Depot through the Birmingham business incubator’s “Soft Landing” program until its facility is operational. It will also receive life sciences and pharmaceutical consulting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

“This announcement is testament to the strong pro-business climate that we have worked to create in Alabama,” Governor Robert Bentley said today at the BBA’s 2014 Governor’s Luncheon. “Two hundred jobs is a major announcement for any town, and these are the types of high-quality jobs that we have targeted for Alabama.”

Grayson Hall, chief executive of Regions Financial Corp. and the 2014 chairman of the BBA, said Birmingham’s growing reputation in the biopharmaceutical industry caught Oxford’s eye during the site search.

“With partners at the state, county and city level, and assets like Innovation Depot, UAB and Southern Research, we see Birmingham playing a large role in shaping the future of medicine and health care around the globe,” Hall said.

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