Alachua company lands DOD contract worth up to $360M


Jim Talton, founder and CEO of the Sid Martin Biotech Incubator graduate company Nanotherapeutics Inc., is shown in this 2011 file photo. (Courtesy photo)

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 at 11:45 p.m.

An Alachua-based biotech company has landed a Department of Defense contract that could be worth as much as $360 million over 10 years to develop manufacturing processes for drugs to treat bioterrorism and radiological threats.

Nanotherapeutics plans to build a $150 million, 145,000-square-foot expansion and add as many as 150 new employees with an average salary of $90,000 as a result of the contract, according to a 2012 application for tax rebates.

Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday.

Nanotherapeutics currently has 45 employees at an office in Progress Corporate Park in Alachua.

The University of Florida Foundation was working with the company to build its new manufacturing facility in a 280-acre corporate park established last year on farmland adjacent to Progress Corporate Park.

Nanotherapeutics received the award Wednesday and announced it on its website Friday.

The base contract is for $135.8 million and two years with options up to 10 years and $358.9 million.

According to bid documents, the company will conduct research and development on faster, cheaper and more effective ways to treat against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks, and outbreaks of naturally occurring and genetically engineered infectious diseases.

The company already has a history of work on defense and other federal grants and contracts totaling millions of dollars to develop protections and treatments for bioterror and radiological threats, among other work.

James Talton founded the company in 2000 as Nanocoat Technologies in the UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator in Alachua, changing the name to Nanotherapeutics in 2002.

The company uses tiny, nanometer-scale particle technology to make new drugs and to make existing drugs more effective, including oral, inhaled and injectable drugs, and topical gels and creams.

In July, the Alachua County Commission and Alachua City Commission approved tax rebates of as much as $105,000 each as a match to a $1.05 million rebate, with the rest coming from the state, in anticipation of the defense contract. The total rebate amount is based on the number of jobs created up to 150.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top