Iroko Pharmaceuticals to Create 150 New Jobs, Space at Philadelphia Navy Yard

Published: Sep 08, 2011

Iroko Pharmaceuticals .Iroko Pharmaceuticals Latest from The Business Journals Officials tally Philly Live! jobsIroko sells Canadian rights to Vancocin antibioticIroko Pharmaceuticals buys iCeutica Follow this company .will expand at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Corporate Center with a new, 56,000-square foot headquarters at the South Philadelphia site.

The expansion will allow Iroko to increase the size of its work force from about 50 people to more than 200.

Iroko, founded in 2006, first established offices in the Navy Yard in 2007.

It currently occupies about 19,000 square feet of office space there.

Liberty Property Trust .Liberty Property Trust Latest from The Business Journals Intermodal yard at Charlotte airport holds promise of delivering growthLiberty buying distribution centerEarthquake didn’t damage buildings, Phila. landlords say Follow this company .(NYSE:LRY) and Synterra Partners, both of Philadelphia, will break ground on the new four-story headquarters building, which Iroko will lease, on Wednesday.

Liberty is Investing $15.4 million in the project, which is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of next year. It will represent the seventh commercial property Liberty has developed at the Navy Yard Corporate Center with Synterra.

Iroko is specializing in using its nanoformulation technology to create improved versions of existing nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Its technology allows less drug to be absorbed by the body without sacrificing efficacy.

John Vavricka, president and CEO at Iroko, said the company needs more space as it gets ready to launch its first nano-reformulated product in the United States. That product is a version of diclofenac, an existing, non-steroidal medicine used by patients with arthritis for pain relief and to reduce swelling. The company is planing to file a new drug application within the next 18 months and launch the product, if it secures Food and Drug Administration approval, in 2013.

“We’ve run out of space,” Vavricka said. “Launching a product in the United States is going to require a much large footprint.”

Osagie Imasogie, chairman of Iroko, said being at the Navy Yard Corporate Center, a Keystone Innovation Zone, will qualify the company for state and city tax credits.

“We were drawn to the Navy Yard initially because of the many advantages of being in Philadelphia and the vision of what the site could be,” said Imasogie, who is also senior managing partner of Phoenix IP Ventures, an Iroko investor. “The city is a wonderful place for the life sciences because of its highly educated work force and research infrastructure. Our management team hails from around the world, and we choose to be in Philadelphia.”

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