A top executive at Galderma Laboratories, which makes dermatological pharmaceuticals, confirmed Wednesday that the company will expand in Fort Worth with a $22 million research and development center.
“We debated a lot about where to put it,” said Humberto Antunes, CEO of Nestlé Skin Health S.A. and chairman of Galderma Pharma S.A., speaking at Mayor’s International Luncheon. “My heart was already set on Fort Worth.”
In July, the City Council approved a 10-year, $635,000 tax incentive for Galderma. The company was said to be considering several locations including Princeton, N.J., Boston and San Francisco. But not until Wednesday’s luncheon, sponsored by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, did the company announce it would put the facility here.
“Fort Worth was a great location to be,” Atunes said. “Texas gave us a lot of good reasons: workforce, location, weather does help.”
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Galderma, founded in Fort Worth in 1961, is building a 100,000-square-foot expansion adjacent to its headquarters at the northeast corner of Texas Longhorn Way and Heritage Parkway, on the west side of Interstate 35W just north of Alliance Airport. The company currently employs 300 workers in Fort Worth, but the expansion will add as many as 350 positions, the company has said.
We debated a lot about where to put it. My heart was already set on Fort Worth.
Humberto Antunes, CEO of Nestlé Skin Health and Galderma chairman
The building should be completed and open in 2017. The company is also seeking a grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The company has 6,000 employees worldwide and operates research facilities in the U.S., France, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland.
The research and development center will conduct clinical research and hire life sciences professionals including research associates, physicians and biologists, Antunes said.
Galderma sees huge expansions for its skin care products in the United States. Some products, both sold by prescription and over-the-counter, are just being launched, but others are close to receiving regulatory approvals, said Antunes, a native of Brazil who managed Galderma’s Latin American and North American operations before becoming its global CEO in 2004.
Galderma’s expansion is just one of many recently announced projects that will bring about 1,700 jobs to Fort Worth and the area, including a Facebook data center in far north Fort Worth, Mayor Betsy Price told the 300 people attending the luncheon at the Omni Fort Worth hotel.
“It has just been a whirlwind year, Price said.