- Agilent Technologies, a Santa Clara, California-based biotechnology research company, plans to invest about $725 million to expand its manufacturing capacity in Frederick, Colorado, the company said in a press release.
- The project includes the addition of two new manufacturing lines (known as Trains C and D) which will join the Train B manufacturing line announced in 2020 that’s set to go live later this year. Agilent expects shipments from the expansion project to begin in 2026.
- The expansion follows strong growth in demand for the company’s high-quality active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API, which help treat cancer, cardiovascular disease and other rare diseases, according to the release.
Health industry experts project the market for therapeutic oligos, the molecules that serve as the API for these drugs, to grow in double digits annually over the next five years, totaling approximately $2.4 billion in 2027.
The investment illustrates the strength of manufacturing construction in 2023.
Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Construction Network, expects manufacturing starts to reach about $51.2 billion in 2023. Pharmaceutical labs associated with the manufacturing process, such as this Agilent project, fall within that category.
That means manufacturing construction will serve as a safe haven in case of a recession this year, said George Pfeffer, member of the management committee team at DPR Construction, a Redwood, California-based commercial general contractor.
Similarly, John Fish, CEO of Suffolk, a Boston-based construction contracting company, also expects manufacturing projects to remain resilient against an economic downturn over the next 12 months.
“The nonresidential construction category is facing its own set of challenges,” said Fish. “Having said that, I am confident other sectors such as data centers, life sciences, healthcare, education, government, manufacturing, high-end resorts and senior living will remain strong and will still be attractive to developers with diversified portfolios.”