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Argenta set to commence operations at its new manufacturing facility in Iowa

Argenta, a New Zealand-owned company dedicated to the development and manufacture of products for the health of animals, will start operations at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, AML Riverside, in Fort Dodge, Iowa on January 4, 2016.

Argenta purchased the facility at 141 Riverside Drive from animal health pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc (BIVI) in July 2015. The company plans to hire 43 staff in the first year of operations, with the first 20 starting work on January 4.

“The Fort Dodge facility is world-class and the advanced manufacturing technologies we’ve acquired means the facility produces some of the most high-tech products available in animal health today. Interest from existing and potential clients has been stronger than we expected, meaning a far more aggressive hiring plan has been adopted already,” says Doug Cleverly, Argenta’s managing director and co-founder. “Originally, we committed to creating 30 jobs within three years, but we will exceed this within the first year.”

“AML Riverside will also provide the additional capacity we need to meet the increasing demand for quality animal health technologies and products in the US,” Cleverly adds. “The local community has shown a great interest in what we are doing here and we are thrilled to have been so warmly welcomed to the area.”

AML Riverside is a 145,000-square-feet facility, situated on a 15.3 acre site, and encompasses innovative production spaces and several support laboratories. It is the third Argenta business operating out of the US and the company’s first US manufacturing site.

The official opening of AML Riverside will be commemorated at an event on January 4th, attended by Cleverly, city and state officials and Argenta staff. The on-site event will include a formal presentation and a flag-raising ceremony.

Argenta is also celebrating its move into Iowa by setting up a trust fund to support local charities. The first recipient is Almost Home and representatives of the no-kill animal shelter will be at the ceremony to receive an inaugural donation from Argenta.

“Global animal health is our focus and our priority, so it was important to us that we support local animal initiatives,” says Cleverly. “But we are also keen to get involved and support a Fort Dodge sports team!”

The successful acquisition and launch of AML Riverside is a credit to all involved, Cleverly says: “There are many individuals and agencies that have helped our move to Iowa and we are grateful for the commitment from these people in helping Argenta achieve its growth objectives and fully utilize the Riverside facility.”

“I’d like to make special mention of Mark Laurenzo and Debi Durham of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Dennis Plautz and Kelly Halsted from the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, who have played pivotal roles in our move.”

“We are truly honored that Argenta chose Fort Dodge to establish its first US manufacturing plant in our community,” says Dennis Plautz, CEO of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. “The management team of Argenta have been fantastic to work with over the last year to make this project come to fruition. The Riverside plant and its employees were and continue to be a true asset to our community. The animal health industry truly has a future in Fort Dodge and the region. The synergies between Boehringer Ingelheim Vet Medica and AML Riverside create a high value industry cluster.”

Founded in South Auckland, New Zealand, in 2006, Argenta provides drug product development, innovative delivery technologies and contract manufacturing services to the animal health industry. In 2008, Argenta acquired New Jersey-based clinical research provider, AlcheraBio. In 2011, it opened a research laboratory in Lawrence, Kansas City.

Today, Argenta employs nearly 300 staff, both in the US and New Zealand, and works with nine of the top 10 global animal health pharmaceutical companies, as well as several startups that have appeared in recent times due to the burgeoning interest in the industry. The company exports products and services to more than 40 countries including United States, Canada, Japan and Europe.