PTC Theraputics officially celebrates opening of new facility on former BMS campus

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PTC Therapeutics CEO Stuart Peltz (left), next to Kyle Bryant (center) as he cuts the ribbon held by Neil Almstead (right), who is the PTC Chief Technical Operations Officer. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Ribbon cutting ceremony at PTC Therapeutics new facility at the former BMS campus on Oct. 14. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Outside of the PTC Therapeutics facility on 311 Pennington-Rocky Hill Road. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th District) delivers her remarks at the ceremony on Oct. 14. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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PTC Therapeutics CEO Stuart Peltz (left), next to Kyle Bryant (center) as he cuts the ribbon held by Neil Almstead (right), who is the PTC Chief Technical Operations Officer. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Ribbon cutting ceremony at PTC Therapeutics new facility at the former BMS campus on Oct. 14. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Outside of the PTC Therapeutics facility on 311 Pennington-Rocky Hill Road. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th District) delivers her remarks at the ceremony on Oct. 14. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

PTC Therapeutics has officially cut the ribbon on its new facility focused on gene therapy products.

After signing a long-term lease for space at the former BMS (Bristol-Myers Squibb) campus, the company’s new facility is now 220,500 square feet.

The facility contains office space, manufacturing and laboratory space, and state-of-the art technology equipped to handle process development and manufacturing of plasmids and adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, according to PTC Therapeutics.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Oct. 14 at facility’s location on 311 Pennington-Rocky Hill Road.

The ceremony featured remarks from Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12); New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan; and Kyle Bryant, an athlete, speaker and spokesperson for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance.

“What attracted me to this location is that we had chosen to be in gene therapy. It is perfect for what we deal with regarding genetic diseases,” said Stuart Peltz, founder and CEO of PTC Therapeutics. “Most that we tackle are due to losing a particular gene and that is why you have the disease. Gene therapy lets you replace that gene with a normal gene and therefore you should be able to treat disease.”

He added that they felt this was something they should do as company and have a center of excellence for manufacturing biologics, particularly gene therapy.

“We started getting into it and started using outside vendors and then we realized that we needed better control of that process. Then we heard that BMS was leaving this site and had recently renovated, so we said this is for us,” Peltz said. “We negotiated the lease and we got it, we built the team out, and so now there are 140 people working in the facility.”

The company, headquartered in South Plainfield, invested $20 million in the facility, which has 140 people employed at the new location.

“This company is dealing with the rarest of diseases where those who are affected have very little expectation and quality of life and longevity of life,” Coleman said. “Of course, this company and this industry represents jobs, a good economy, but it also represents quality of life and life for others. What we do right here in the 12th District and the state with innovation, science and discovery saves people all over the world.”

Back in 2019, the Hopewell Township Committee amended the land use ordinance to allow for the former BMS site to be subdivided with multiple owners.

“Having PTC Therapeutics here is so important to us because it is consistent with our values and it is also helps fill out people who are interested in the health of the community, state, United States and the world,” Mayor Julie Blake said. “We will do everything we can to support this kind of industry in Hopewell Township.”

Blake added that this is only the beginning for the former BMS site.

“Obviously, we just had the second hearing for a redevelopment plan to allow for BeiGene to redevelop the rest of the site. What we are doing is replenishing the tax base that was left in 2020 by BMS,” Blake said. “We have all had to pay a heavier share of taxes because of this site being empty and we have two amazing tenants and more. They are going to help pay for open space, educate our kids, and eat at our restaurants.”

Township Committeeman Kevin Kuchinski, who was also in attendance for the groundbreaking with fellow members of the Township Committee, said he was glad to have PTC Therapeutics join Hopewell.

“They are a company with a mission. It has been a long time coming and we have been listening to what it would take to adaptively reuse this campus,” he said. “The low point was probably December 2016 when BMS told us that they were leaving, but we have been committed from that day forward to attract companies like PTC Therapeutics.”