Company to invest $31.3 million, create 124 new jobs
Fayetteville, AR — OurPharma, a start-up manufacturer of generic medications, announced it is locating a facility in Fayetteville to develop lower cost alternatives to generic drugs. The company plans to invest approximately $31.1 million in the Fayetteville facility where they will initially hire 10 to 12 new employees and expand to more than 100 employees within a seven-year period. Construction will begin this winter on the 14.9-acre site in the Fayetteville Commercial Park.
“We want to fill a great need for generic drugs locally, in the region, and nationally by starting with compounding, and then progressing into the manufacturing of generic pills, tablets and capsules,” said Dr. Peter Kohler, CEO of OurPharma. “Our goals are to be a major generic drug company over the next decade and to provide affordable and much needed medications to the patients.”
The company is planning four phases of development over 10 years. The facility was designed by Cromwell Architects Engineers, with Clark Contractors serving as the general contractor. The first phase will focus on compounded medications necessary for hospitals and clinics. Production requires careful adherence to state and FDA guidelines. During the next two phases, to be completed within three years, OurPharma plans to expand into the generic drug market by focusing on products such as insulin, which is too expensive for many diabetics in the area.
“I am pleased to welcome OurPharma as the first generic drug manufacturer in Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Drug costs are an increasing concern, not just for Arkansans, but for citizens throughout the country. It’s great to see Arkansas at the forefront of the research and technology behind the manufacturing of affordable options that will improve the quality of life for many families. Dr. Kohler’s decision to locate OurPharma in Arkansas speaks volumes about our state’s business climate and our workforce.”
OurPharma would like to collaborate with bioengineering departments, including the University of Arkansas, to develop high quality, cost-effective alternatives to devices such as the EpiPen. The company also hopes to set up elective training opportunities for graduate level students in the College of Business and the College of Engineering. This is in keeping with Dr. Peter Kohler’s longstanding career in promoting higher education, having recently retired as the Vice Chancellor of the UAMS Northwest Campus.
“I am so thrilled to see the substantial investment that OurPharma is making in the Fayetteville Commerce District, along with the 10 new high paying jobs as they establish their headquarters here,” said Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan. “This is yet another testament to the city’s robust economic development plan, which is well underway and paying dividends for our economy. The quality of life in Fayetteville is what draws new employers with high paying jobs to our city, and I’m excited that we continue to grow as a great place to live, work, play, and do business.”
“We are excited to have worked with Dr. Kohler and his team from the beginning and now to see the fruition of this project,” said Steve Clark, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. “Dr. Kohler’s work adds to the healthcare sector that we are building in Fayetteville.”
OurPharma is a newly created company that is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In addition to Dr. Peter O. Kohler, its management team includes Dr. Ramona McLean, COO; Brooke Culp, CFO; and Adam Kohler, Vice Chair of the Board. Dr. McLean came from Washington Regional Hospital where she was formerly their Director of Pharmacy. She is a pharmacist with vast experience. Ms. Culp also has over 20 years of experience at Washington Regional Hospital in various roles in the Accounting Department. Mr. Adam Kohler is the Chief Operating Officer of WELSCO, Inc., and will serve in an advisory capacity to OurPharma.
About the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce has over 1,100 members and serves Fayetteville and the Northwest Arkansas area through economic development, leadership, and community development efforts. The Chamber is also a 5-Star accredited Chamber. Presently there are about 7000 Chambers of Commerce in the United States, and of this total number, only 203 are accredited and we are one of 103 Chambers in the country that are 5-Star accredited. The Fayetteville Chamber is now among the top 1% of all Chambers in the United States engaged in best practices.