BIO-CAT plans $35M expansion in Troy
Biotech firm to create 20 jobs, add 53,800 SF
BIO-CAT Microbials LLC, part of BIO-CAT Inc., will invest $35 million in a fermentation facility in Troy, southeast of Charlottesville, creating 20 jobs, the company announced March 3.
The biotech company is a producer and wholesaler of enzymes, probiotics and microbials. Founded in 1988, BIO-CAT Microbials will expand its facility to include fermentation capabilities. That includes breaking ground on an initial 53,800-square-foot expansion phase this month, with potential future expansion of up to an additional 100,000 square feet. It will be completed in May 2023.
“This expansion will be a huge boon for our fermentation capabilities, allowing us to further scale our production to supply customers and partners, both old and new, with the best microbial products on the market,” BIO-CAT CEO and co-founder Chris Schuler said in a statement. “The plans we have in place will make our Troy facilities truly best in class. We’re looking forward to breaking ground and getting started.”
The expansion will allow the company to scale its high-tech microbial fermentation production facilities by adding fermentation manufacturing facilities, quality labs and a research and development center. It will also include custom-designed fermentation equipment allowing for small and large batch manufacturing. The expanded capacity will provide the potential to grow its current fermentation by 400%, according to a news release from the company. BIO-CAT currently performs all fermentation in its Shakopee, Minnestoa manufacturing site, but the expansion in Virginia will allow it to “provide BIO-CAT Microbials’ customers with manufacturing redundancy that will further solidify supply chain reliability, which has become increasingly important in today’s market.”
The 20 full-time jobs will be roles in the manufacturing, research and development and quality departments during the initial expansion phase.
“To continue to be viewed as a premier employer, we need to continually look at ways to attract and retain the best talent, and some of the campus improvements are perfect examples of these efforts,” Stephen Schuler, AVP of Operation at BIO-CAT Microbials, said. “This investment reflects both our confidence in the team we have assembled, as well as our commitment to providing our customers with the very best product and service in the industry.”
BIO-CAT was one of the first wholesalers of dietary enzymes in the country, developing forumals for use in digestive preparations. Now the company has developed experise in enzyme forulation and custom blending, offering single and multienzyme blends serving food, industrial, agricultural and commercial markets. The company is the exclusive North American distributor for several companies.
“The company’s model will revolve around the continued development, blending and contract manufacturing of Bacillus strains for customers in its Minnesota and Virginia facilities,” according to a news release from BIO-CAT. BIO-CAT Microbials has also identified an additional 13 high-performing Bacillus strains that are currently in development, with several on target to launch within the next 12 months.”
BIO-CAT was founded by Ed Schuler and his son, Chris, and first opened in Louisa in 1988, moving to its 26-acre Troy facility in 1995. In 2004, BIO-CAT acquired Advanced Microbial Systems to start BIO-CAT Microbials. Over the years, it’s expanded several times.
The company’s enzymes can be found in products such as dietary supplements, food and beverages and cleaning products. It makes probiotics for both for humans and animals.