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Columbia pharmaceutical company buys 105 acres for expansion, new distribution center

A pharmaceutical manufacturer in Columbia plans a major expansion that will usher in the construction of, among other things, a new distribution and logistics center and help create a number of high-paying new jobs.

The Ritedose Corporation announced Thursday that it purchased 105 acres from the Midlands Technical College Enterprise Campus in northeast Columbia. In a few weeks, Ritedose will break ground there on what will be known as Ritedose Performance Park.

The land is contiguous to the Carolina Research Park off Farrow Road and is not far from Ritedose’s corporate offices and main manufacturing facility at 1 Technology Circle.

Ritedose said in a news release that the expansion is part an $81 million, four-year project. The first building on the new property will be a 225,000-square-foot central distribution and logistics center. The expansion efforts will add 150 jobs to Ritedose’s workforce, and the company said the average salary and benefit package for employees can total up to $90,000 a year.

Ritedose works in the production of “sterile, single-dose medication, serving the contract development manufacturing, generics and 503B outsourcing markets,” the company’s release said, with customers ranging from “small startups and retail pharmacies to large pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers and hospital systems.”

“There continues to be a nationwide surge in demand for the medications we produce — especially for respiratory diseases,” Ritedose President and CEO Jody Chastain said in a statement. “The volume of medications we’re producing has surpassed 1.5 billion doses annually, and we expect to produce more than 2 billion doses annually in the coming years. Our production of ophthalmic medications has also rapidly increased due to demand from cutting edge ophthalmic drug developers.”

Midlands Technical College President Ron Rhames noted the purpose of the MTC enterprise campus is to help spur economic development growth.

“When the Midlands Technical College Commission created the Enterprise Campus years ago, commissioners envisioned this property as a catalyst for workforce and economic development in our community. We are pleased that vision has now come to fruition,” Rhames said in a statement.

The expansion plans also will include a 1-mile nature trail and walking path for employee wellness.