NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–A building at 777 Jersey Avenue formerly occupied by the Middlesex County Board of Elections, is now the new, 42,000 square foot, “Spectrum Pharmacy Institute (SPI).”
SPI, a unit of Spectrum Chemical Products, manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical compounding chemicals, equipment, supplies.
“Compounding is an important part of personalized medicine, giving physicians the valuable option of prescribing customized formulations for patients, as opposed to commercially manufactured drugs,” said an SPI spokeswoman.
“Compounded medications are formulated specifically to meet an individual patient’s unique needs," the spokeswoman continued, noting that pharmaceutical compounding has a long history, and is growing nationally due to many factors including drug shortages, patient allergies, and drug resistance to various commercial medications.
The new Hub City center will hold on-site training in the facility and has dedicated 15,000 square feet of space to labs and classrooms.
"My father, Paul Burg, founded Spectrum and established us as the leading supplier to compounding pharmacies years ago,” said Randy Burg, President and CEO of Spectrum Chemical.
He added that the education and training space made sense as the company’s logical next step.
Brunswick-based Spectrum Chemical paid $5 million two years ago and since then has spent an additional $6 million during an 18-month renovation and "build-out" phase.
Spectrum Chemical, as a global supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API's), DEA-controlled substances, and fine chemicals, says it has created 50 "high-paying" jobs through SPI, including pharmacists, chemists and sales professionals.
An SPI spokeswoman added that the company was founded by and for pharmacy professionals.
The company made an $11 million commitment to New Brunswick and to pharmacists, through a partnership offering jointly-accredited courses in pharmaceutical compounding with the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, said the spokeswoman.
Mayor Jim Cahill was among those present at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 4, as well as Rutgers Pharmacy School officials, international laboratory and pharmacy suppliers, and local and regional pharmacy customers.
“This new facility takes full advantage of much of what serves as a strong economic foundation of New Brunswick, built largely on health care, manufacturing and education,” said Cahill.
Cahill cited the integration of SPI as a vital part of the organization’s network that will have a “multiplying the impact on [the] local economy through the money spent by the company to operate its local facilities, the money earned by its employees, and money spent by visiting pharmacists.”
He added that the venture will help local health care institutions, such as Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peter’s University Hospital, provide even greater quality of service.
The Mayor was presented with a mortar-and-pestle plaque to commemorate the event.
“We have been meeting the needs of compounding pharmacists for more than 40 years. We are excited to introduce this state-of-the-art facility to the local community and to pharmacists throughout the U.S," said Spectrum Pharmacy Products President, Dr. Craig A. Recatto.
He said that the ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the launch of a new "business phase" for both Spectrum Pharmacy Products and its parent company, Spectrum Chemical.
"We are excited that our vision of a state-of-the-art prescription compounding training facility has come to fruition. SPI intends to be a global center of excellence and an expert resource for pharmacists looking for hands-on education to support personalized medicine and training in the art of compounding," said Recatto.
SPI offers the latest lecture-based and hands-on compounding education, according to the company.
“[Our] Learning programs feature a cutting-edge multi-media, audio-visual classroom and laboratory experience,” said SPI, citing “ISO-Class 7 & 8 cleanrooms, fully functional teaching laboratories and USP <800> compliant facilities.”