Governor Laura Kelly Announces Largest Economic Development Investment in Kelly Administration History

Apr 18, 2022

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~$650 Million in Business Investment in Kansas Economy, 500 New High-Paying Jobs in Manhattan~

MANHATTAN – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced her administration’s most significant economic development project to date. Scorpion Biological Services, a subsidiary of Heat Biologics, Inc., is commencing on a planned development of a new 500,000 square foot biomanufacturing facility in Kansas. The $650 million business investment project will create 500 new, high-paying jobs in Manhattan within the next seven years.

“Kansas is the center of the country, with quick access to either coast, a strong workforce and a growing economy—so there’s no better state for Scorpion to locate to address potential threats to public health,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Scorpion’s selection of locating this facility in the state reinforces what many have come to learn—Kansas is open for business.”

The facility will support the development of vaccines that enable an accelerated response to global biological threats. In addition, the company intends to provide commercial level development, manufacturing, and bioanalytical testing services at every stage for biopharmaceutical products on a fee-for-service basis to the global health care industry.

“We are showing again and again that we have what it takes to attract highly innovative and highly-technical businesses to Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “It’s absolutely critical that we, as a nation, increase our capacity for domestic production of these types of vaccines and we are extremely proud to see this work happening here in Kansas.” Scorpion’s biomanufacturing facility represents a new chapter for the company, and it opens the door to a more prepared, innovative, and resilient future when it comes to how our nation—and the world—will respond to biological threats.

The combination of a world-class public research university, innovative private sector partners and critical national security led Scorpion to choose Manhattan for its new facility. Adding to this, the skill and strength of the Kansas workforce will support the success of this project with Kansas’ brightest minds and hard workers joining the efforts.

“Today, we are very proud to unveil our newest biomanufacturing facility in Manhattan, Kansas,” Jeff Wolf, Chief Executive Officer of Heat, said. “With a model that starts with discovery at our Skunkworx subsidiary in North Brunswick, New Jersey and ends with commercial scale manufacturing here in Manhattan, this facility represents the next stage in our evolution, enabling us to combine speed and agility with the full-integration of discovery, development and manufacturing.”

“We are very excited to break ground on this new facility. There is a strong demand for world-class biomanufacturing, which we expect to continue well into the future. We intend to help fill that demand with our newest facility in Manhattan, Kansas. The 500,000 square foot Manhattan facility is being designed to service up to 144,000 liters across 48 bioreactors,” David Halverson, president of Heat’s Scorpion subsidiary, said. “Powered by an excellent Kansas workforce, we’re looking forward to rapidly growing and expanding Scorpion, and Manhattan is the perfect location for our newest facility.”

This project came together as a result of partnerships between the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas State University, Kansas State University Innovation Partners, the City of Manhattan, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Pottawatomie County, Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation, Manhattan Area Technical College, Evergy, CRB and Realty Trust Group.

See additional information, photos and a live stream of the event here.