Spanish animal health company to move to Ames


Graphic: Dani Harris/Iowa State Daily

A new facility by Laboratorios Hipra, an animal health company based in Spain, will be built in the Iowa State Research Park.

Kaitlin Miner

Construction of a new lab that will produce animal vaccines will begin this fall in the ISU Research Park.

Laboratorios Hipra, located in Amer, Spain, is an animal health company that will be starting its U.S. operations in Ames this fall.

Dan Culhane, President and CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce, explained that Hipra is trying to penetrate the U.S., which is the largest market in the world for animal health products. The majority of livestock production happens in the American Midwest.

Representatives of the company began scouting sites  for an animal vaccine production facility. They then began looking to establish it in one of several states.

Potential sites included Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin and Iowa, said Culhane.

“They selected Ames over the Kansas City region, in large part due to the fact that Iowa State University, National Centers for Animal Health, ISU Research Park and a whole host of other types of infrastructure that are important to animal vaccine production will be here,” said Culhane.

The facility in Ames will serve as Hipra’s U.S. headquarters. The company will be conducting research on new product development while producing, manufacturing, bottling, and distributing vaccines out of Ames.

Culhane explained that company associates plan to build a new facility. It may occupy as many as 100,000 square feet in the ISU Research Park. They hopes to begin construction in 2011. Hipra’s excecutives would like the facility to be producing vaccines by the first part of 2013.

While construction of the new facility is underway, the company will conduct product research in the ISU Research Park’s incubator space.

Culhane said he is eager to see the prospects that the facility’s establishment in Ames could bring to the community and the university.

“This is a huge project for Ames, and it’s a huge project for Iowa State University and graduates of the animal science programs at Iowa State University. The animal science programs and the College of Veterinary Medicine were critically important to this project,” Culhane said. “I’m hopeful that graduates of these programs have an opportunity to stay in Ames because of this company.”