CHEYENNE — The State Loan and Investment Board approved a $9.35 million loan for Innovive to build a biotech manufacturing center as part of its expanding business in Cheyenne. While terms of the loan still need to be worked out between the state Treasurer’s Office and Innovive, Thursday’s decision marks a major step in the process.

“This really is just the first step,” Innovive CEO Dee Conger said. “None of the terms have been set, so we have a lot of work to do. But we hope to wrap it up in the next month or so.”

The loan was approved unanimously Thursday by the five members of the SLIB — Gov. Mark Gordon, state Treasurer Curt Meier, Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, state Auditor Kristi Racines and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. The loan was on the SLIB’s agenda Thursday after the Wyoming Business Council’s board voted to recommended approval back in June.

If approved, the state’s loan would cover a major percentage of the project’s overall estimated cost of $17.8 million. Innovive also has the backing of the Afton-based Bank of Star Valley for $4 million, the maximum that it could loan out for the project, said Randy Bruns, chief executive at Cheyenne LEADS.

Owners of California-based Innovive, which is registered as WYTEC locally, have worked with economic development groups to design and build a state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot biomedical manufacturing plant in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. Cheyenne LEADS, which owns the business park, would sell the acreage to WYTEC.

The company specializes in disposable caging products for laboratory rodents used in medical research. Those cages, once used, are sent back to Innovive, which then sterilizes the parts and reuses them for new cages.

Shipping those products back and forth to be sterilized at their current facility out of state, reassembled here, and then sent back out to customers is a timely and expensive process, Conger said.

Creating a new facility in Cheyenne where sterilization and reassembly could happen in one location would be a major benefit to the company’s bottom line.

“Pretty much every medical device that’s made for human use, or used in research, needs to be sterilized,” Conger said. “And a lot of the products are somewhat bulky. And shipping costs being what they are and increasing, and the focus on greening up the logistics chains, it makes companies want to co-locate near the (sterilization) facilities.”

 

By Ramsey Scott

Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange