Granules is ready to start shipping medications right from Prince William County.
The India-based pharmaceutical maker opened up its new packaging and distribution facility just outside Manassas, promising to bring 57 new jobs to the county as part of a $12.5 million investment.
Representatives for the $65 billion manufacturer said the move will strengthen the company’s supply chain after COVID disruptions. The maker of 30 billion pharmaceutical tablets per year – primarily generic, off-patent medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and metformin, which treats high blood pressure for diabetics – is based in India but already operates a research, development and manufacturing facility in Chantilly.
Granules’ market capitalization grew dramatically over the past three years as acetaminophen was commonly used to treat symptoms of COVID-19, but Vijay Ramanavarapu, the company’s president for U.S. operations, said Tuesday that Granules, like so many other companies, had a newfound emphasis on supply chain security and resilience.
All told, the new Prince William facility will bring the company’s Northern Virginia workforce to about 200 people.
“The $12.5 million investment not only represents the company’s commitment to innovation and growth, but it also demonstrates how our county has successfully cultivated this business-friendly environment,” Prince William County Executive Chris Shorter said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning. “In addition to packaging and distribution, our strategic location, with proximity to Dulles International Airport and the new I-66 Express lanes offers unparalleled access to key transportation networks, enabling Granules to efficiently compete with imports and enhance pharmaceutical supply chains across the country.”
The new facility on Cushing Road just outside the Manassas city limits, is part of a 13.56-acre light-industrial complex built by Matan and opened in 2021. The design and construction of the facility was managed by Scheer Partners’ Project Development and Construction Management department, headed by Adnan Sheikh. The build-out of this 80,000+ SF space, consisted of an office area with eight private offices, 24 cubicles and a large conference room. The facility also contains a 27-bay racking system with six shelves and a 5,000 pallet capacity. Each bay contains a motion sensor, as well as a wire guided forklift system. In addition, the new Granules facility has four cleanroom production lines, QA/QC Labs, packaging area, shipping/receiving areas, and DEA vault with 4 ft thick concrete walls. With its complex mechanical system and cleanroom production lines, the project recently passed its FDA inspection.
Pending another approval, Granules’ future plans involve “more complex prescription product manufacturing” in Prince William County and the region, according to the county’s Economic Development Authority.
But much of the talk Tuesday at Granules’ opening was about the way the company’s growth was strengthening the business ties between the world’s two largest democracies. On hand were the Indian ambassador to the U.S., Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the executive director of SelectUSA, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s initiative to bring more foreign investment into the U.S., and Atul Keshap, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council.
“I’ll tell you, friends … that our strategic relationship is superb. And we have a very great deal of commonality in how we view the world and in terms of what we want for our peoples, open societies, open and free markets, the spirit of innovation, capturing the great human potential of our two dynamic nations,” Keshap said.
On the local front, Prince William Economic Development Director Christina Winn said the opening was in part thanks to a smaller-scale collaboration between the county, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
“Without VEDP, they would not have been able to provide the tools and the incentives for Prince William County and Granules to really land this project,” Winn said. “So it is just another exciting day to be in Prince William County.”