Bend Research expanding

After its purchase this fall, the company plans for new manufacturing space

By Elon Glucklich / The Bulletin / @EGlucklich

Published Nov 7, 2013 at 04:00AM

Bend Research announced today a $20 million expansion of its Bend manufacturing plant, two months after agreeing to be sold to New Jersey-based Capsugel.

The investment by Capsugel will let Bend Research add between 6,000 and 8,000 square feet to its 12,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Builders Street, off of Empire Avenue.

Construction is tentatively set to start in January and be completed by mid-2015, Bend Research Vice President Dan Dobry said.

It's an expansion Bend Research has wanted to make on its own for several years. But the Bend pharmaceutical company lacked capital to make it happen before Capsugel bought it for an undisclosed price. The sale was finalized Oct. 1.

Now Capsugel wants to give Bend Research more space to test some of its higher-potency chemical compounds. Through a process called spray-dried dispersion, Bend Research said it's able to improve the shelf life of pharmaceutical products.

The expansion “is all about opportunity and growth for Bend Research,” Dobry said. “From our perspective, the integration effort (between Capsugel and Bend Research) is going very well.”

The expansion will likely mean adding workers at Bend Research, which currently has about 250 employees, Dobry said. But it's too early in the process to know just how many.

Bend Research, founded in Tumalo in 1975, has six offices in Bend and Tumalo.

For years, the company had an exclusive partnership deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. But the two companies ended that agreement in 2008.

Bend Research has added more than 100 workers since then, signing new client deals and adding products.

At the time of the Capsugel purchase, Bend Research CEO Rod Ray told The Bulletin that he started reaching out to potential buyers in early 2012. He said the company had come to a point where it couldn't grow any further without a larger company providing financial flexibility.

Capsugel makes more than half of the world's two-piece medication capsules, according to its website. The company has more than 2,800 employees around the world and manufacturing plants on five continents.

Bend Research has between 80 and 100 clients around the world today.

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