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After Delays, Quality Chemical Expansion Construction Could Wrap By Next Year

By Johanna F. Still, posted May 18, 2022
Quality Chemical Laboratories facilities engineer Brian Dineen walks through the new campus for Pyramid Pharmaceuticals. (Photo by Johanna F. Still)

Quality Chemical Laboratories is hoping to wrap up construction of its 110,000-square-foot expansion by early next year. 

The expansion – the firm’s second in recent years – will provide a space for the firm’s sister company, Pyramid Pharmaceutical Co. LLC, to manufacture pharmaceutical products. 

Quality Chemical Laboratories serves more than 100 pharmaceutical clients, including the largest companies in the world, out of its facilities located in the Northchase Industrial Park. 

The business conducts testing of raw- and in-process materials, finished products and active pharmaceutical ingredients, which clients outsource to meet federal quality control requirements. 

Constructed adjacent to its campus at 3220 Corporate Drive, the new structure visible from Interstate 40 will roughly double the firm’s footprint, which includes 90,000 square feet of space across six buildings. 

Most of the structure will be dedicated to injectable manufacturing, according to Brian Dineen, Quality Chemical Laboratories’ facilities engineer. The company's contractor, McKinley Building Corp., has informed company officials that construction should wrap by the beginning of 2023, Dineen said.

At that point, about 90% of the building will be complete; Dineen said he anticipates another several months of delays for a cleanroom area as officials await the arrival of backlogged equipment for it due to supply chain issues. Those pieces aren't expected to arrive until later next year, Dineen said.

Another expansion underway, planned about one-third of a mile from the main campus, could become storage or used for future packaging or warehousing needs associated with commercial production, according to Dineen. 

Founder and CEO Yousry Sayed said the new building will be dedicated to Pyramid Pharmaceutical Co., a company he started in 2005 but that has remained under the radar. That could soon change, with a prominent sign and several pharmaceutical products in development expected to operate under the Pyramid umbrella.

One product that has been in development over the past few years is about a year away from federal approval, Sayed said. Another product in the preclinical development phase could be transformative for medical oncology, officials said. “It could be maybe one of our best investments,” Sayed said. He said he will know within about a year whether the product is viable.

Sayed said the costs to build and equip the facility have doubled from 2019 estimates. After ballooning construction and equipment costs, the project represents about a $110 million investment, he said. About half the costs are wrapped up in specialized equipment for lab work and manufacturing processes. “I think it’s going to be one of the largest investments in this area in a while,” he said. 

Quality Chemical Laboratories could hire another 60 or so employees to its existing team of about 250 to meet the business’ current demand in its existing facilities. Another about 180 employees would be needed to fully staff the new Pyramid Pharmaceutical operation, according to Sayed. 

Update: This version has been updated about Pyramid's initial potential products.

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