WVU nonprofit arm takes over shuttered plant, tenants sought

Mar 31, 2022, 2:26 PM | Updated: 3:09 pm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A nonprofit arm of West Virginia University took ownership of a shuttered pharmaceutical plant Thursday with the goal of improving area job and education opportunities.

WVU Medicine will work with the university through the WVU Innovation Corp. to oversee the 1.1-million-square-foot (102,190-square-meter) facility in Morgantown. Discussions with potential private industry tenants are ongoing, said WVU Health System President and CEO Albert Wright.

“There is significant interest from many parties in that building,” Wright said on a conference call. “We’re going to be working up a lot of different possibilities as to how we use that building over time.”

Wright said he envisions a few anchor tenants and other, smaller businesses in the building, as opposed to one big tenant. He said it’s possible that portions, but not all, of the building could be available for use as a pharmaceutical business.

“We’re looking to be an economic engine here,” Wright said. “We’re looking for some big-anchor tenants, but we’re also going to have a component to what we’re doing to be an incubator for startup businesses, to provide some of the infrastructure to get them going from the start.”

Prospective tenants don’t necessarily have to be health-care related, “but we’d like to tie it into the health science capability of the university,” Wright said. “So we have had a number of small startups that are interested.”

Viatris Inc. transferred the facility for $1 under a memorandum of understanding with the university. Viatris announced in December 2020 that it was laying off 1,500 workers at the plant, which was formerly operated by the generic drug company Mylan.

Mylan merged with Upjohn in 2020 to form the new company. Viatris, which announced it would slash 20% of its workforce worldwide, is now one of the world’s leading makers of generic drugs and maintains research and development operations in Morgantown.

“Our goal has always been to identify a responsible new steward for this unique site that would secure the best possible future for the facility, our impacted employees and the Morgantown community, a community that continues to play an important and vital role for Viatris,” company executive chairman Robert J. Coury said in a statement.

The plant closing left workers scrambling to find new jobs in a state that is often trying to lure new companies to uplift a stagnant economy once dominated by the coal industry.

Rob Alsop, WVU’s vice president for strategic initiatives, said former Mylan employees will be offered a tuition-free education at the university. Coupled with the state’s existing offer of free tuition at its community colleges, it will “make sure that those employees are ready for the new job opportunities that we hope come from this,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, center, arrives at the Seoul Central Distric...
Associated Press

South Korea to pardon Samsung’s Lee, other corporate giants

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s president will pardon Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong with a year left on his sentence for bribing a president as part of a massive corruption scandal that toppled her government, the justice minister announced Friday. Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and two other top business leaders will be pardoned […]
21 hours ago
Ken Griffey Jr., left, and his father Jen Griffey Sr., walk on to the field before a baseball game ...
Associated Press

Smyly stars as Cubs beat Reds in 2nd ‘Field of Dreams’ game

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — After the Griffeys played catch in Iowa, Drew Smyly took over. Smyly struck out nine in five scoreless innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Thursday night in Major League Baseball’s second annual “Field of Dreams” game. Seiya Suzuki reached three times and Nick Madrigal had three […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Cops: Oregon crime ring moved $22M in catalytic converters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in suburban Portland, Oregon, said Thursday they arrested a crime ring leader responsible for trafficking more than 44,000 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles on the West Coast since 2021. Detectives said they identified Brennan Doyle, 32, as the leader of the operation and searched his Lake Oswego home last week, […]
21 hours ago
A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Miami. Gasoline prices are ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How is inflation affecting commuting costs?

NEW YORK (AP) — Gas prices have fallen from the record highs they reached earlier this summer, but they’re still much higher than a year ago. And with inflation driving up the cost of pretty much everything else, finding the funds to cover your commute may be increasingly tricky. “Being able to get to work […]
21 hours ago
This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources shows a large wildfire i...
Associated Press

Large wildfire burning amid drought on Hawaii’s Big Island

HONOLULU (AP) — A large wildfire in a rural area of Hawaii’s Big Island is not threatening any homes, but high winds and extremely dry conditions are making it difficult for crews to contain the blaze. The fire started in the western reaches of the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area, which is above the town […]
21 hours ago
In this undated photo provided by Masih Alinejad, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, Alinejad, an Iranian opposi...
Associated Press

Man arrested near home of Iranian dissident faces gun charge

NEW YORK (AP) — A man arrested in New York City last month near the home of an Iranian opposition activist and writer has been indicted on a weapons count. The indictment charges Khalid Mehdiyev with one count of possessing a firearm, a Chinese-made AK-47-style assault rifle, with an obliterated serial number. Police arrested Mehdiyev […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
WVU nonprofit arm takes over shuttered plant, tenants sought