German life science company opens new Ann Arbor facility

German life science group Sartorius opened a new Center for Excellence in Bioanalytics in Ann Arbor earlier this month after breaking ground two years prior. Sartorius, in partnership with Ann Arbor SPARK, hopes that the new facility will allow Sartorius to “develop and manufacture a range of bioanalytical instruments,” as well as “provide particle validation services and produce microcarriers used in cell culture processes,” according to a press release from Ann Arbor SPARK.

Ann Arbor SPARK Chief of Staff Phil Santer explains that Sartorius has had a presence in Ann Arbor for several years, acquiring two Ann Arbor-based life science businesses that had also partnered with SPARK. He says the partnership with Sartorius was a natural one, with SPARK aiding in finding and acquiring support to develop the facility on Research Park Drive.

“We always work to build relationships with the companies in our own backyard,” Santer says. “We want to make people aware of Sartorius and their opportunities for job growth, and make sure that they are supported and integrated in the broader life science community in the area.”

While Sartorius' work in life sciences research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing has an international reach, Santer hopes the new center will aid in Sartorius' mission to cement its presence in the US. He says that through the facility’s construction, he was “fascinated” by the breadth of Sartorius' work both in life science as well as in providing opportunities for its stakeholders, customers, and potential employees. 

“We are best known for working with these early-stage tech companies, but another part of our organization is to encourage and welcome new investment into the area,” Santer says. “Our work is to ensure that companies have avenues and pathways to grow, which fits in with the work that Sartorius is doing trying to grow in the U.S.”

Santer explains that Ann Arbor was just one of many U.S. cities Sartorius considered for its new facility. But the company ultimately chose the city because of its “strategic location at the crossroads of talent, technology, and logistics,” as well as its “proximity to current Sartorius customers and renowned universities,” according to SPARK’s press release. Sartorius North America President Maurice Phelan states in an email that this flagship facility is “an investment” in both Sartorius and Ann Arbor, demonstrating Sartorius' commitment to its industry and its workforce.

“We are very excited that the excellent academic institutions nearby will provide us with a rich stream of potential partners and talent,” Phelan says. “We very much appreciate the collaboration with Ann Arbor SPARK in facilitating this project.”

To read more about the new Sartorius Center of Excellence for Bioanalytics and the Group’s partnership with Ann Arbor SPARK, visit SPARK’s website.

“The biopharma market is expected to grow at around 10% per year until 2027, driving the need for innovative technologies to accelerate drug discovery and development,” Phelan says. “With the opening of the Center of Excellence in Ann Arbor, which also offers room for further expansion in the future, Sartorius has further strengthened its presence in the region."

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo courtesy of Sartorius.
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