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ScieGen eyes move to larger Hauppauge site

ScieGen Pharmaceuticals, currently at 20 Davids Dr. in

ScieGen Pharmaceuticals, currently at 20 Davids Dr. in Hauppauge, will add a production facility on Arkay Drive in Hauppauge. (April 3, 2013) Credit: Heather Walsh

A $10-million factory to make generic drugs is being planned for Hauppauge, officials said.

ScieGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. wants to convert 89 Arkay Dr. into its first plant, in anticipation of federal approval of medicines developed since the company started in 2009. One hundred jobs would be created over two years.

ScieGen is the latest drug company to pursue expansion on Long Island. In the past year eight others have announced plans to hire 834 people. As a group, the companies employ 5,135 locally.

Renee Reynolds, ScieGen's chief financial officer, said the company "must be ready to ramp up to full-scale production once we receive additional approvals to manufacture and sell these [generic] pharmaceuticals. In order to accomplish this, we must expand into a larger manufacturing facility and add head count," she said, referring to workers.

Reynolds said ScieGen would maintain a 28,000-square-foot research laboratory at 20 Davids Dr. in Hauppauge, where 55 people currently work.

Last week, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency backed ScieGen's proposed 79,000-square-foot factory with $624,824 in tax breaks. Much of the savings, $496,573, will come from a reduction in property taxes over 10 years, and $86,251 off the sales tax on the purchase of building materials and equipment.

Empire State Development Corp. awarded the project $2.4 million in state tax credits in December 2011.

The drug factory, to open in the fall of 2015, will be located in what now is the headquarters of Vicon Industries Inc., a manufacturer of surveillance cameras. Vicon, according to IDA records, plans to move to a smaller building.

Workers at the ScieGen plant will earn, on average, $37,000 per year, records show. Those at the headquarters and laboratory are paid $47,272 on average.

ScieGen's primary shareholder is vitamin maker Bactolac Pharmaceutical Inc., also based in Hauppauge.

Separately, the IDA's board of directors gave preliminary approval to an aid package for SolarCity Corp., a California company that wants to open a regional office and warehouse in Hauppauge by summer.

SolarCity specializes in the installation of solar power systems; it already has offices in Albany and in the Westchester County community of Elmsford. The public company expects to employ 80 people on Long Island within two years.

SolarCity is "bringing a wealth of green jobs and new energy options for the residents of Suffolk County," said IDA executive director Anthony Manetta.

He estimated SolarCity could receive tax breaks between $80,000 and $180,000, depending on where in Suffolk it decides to rent space. The project is valued at $175,000, records show.

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