A New Zealand animal drug company will open its first factory in the United States this week and immediately says it will need more staff.
Argenta, which has its head office in Manurewa, will start operations at its AML Riverside plant in Fort Dodge, Iowa, today.
It bought the plant from animal health pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica last year.
The 13,500sq m plant will provide capacity needed to meet the increasing demand for animal drugs in the US, says founder and managing director Doug Cleverly.
Interest from existing and potential clients had been stronger than expected and more staff will need to be hired, he said.
Twenty staff will start work today and the company plans to have 43 working in the first year.
"Originally, we committed to creating 30 jobs within three years, but we will exceed this within the first year," Dr Cleverly said.
Fort Dodge, on the Des Moines River, has a population of about 25,000.
Founded in 2006, Argenta provides drug product development, delivery technologies and contract manufacturing services. In 2008, it bought New Jersey-based clinical research provider, AlcheraBio and in 2011 it opened a research laboratory in Kansas City.
Argenta employs nearly 300 staff, both in the US and New Zealand, and exports to more than 40 countries.