Officials break ground on new pharmaceutical facility in Smithfield

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Work is now officially underway on a new pharmaceutical company after several state officials gathered to break ground on the project Wednesday afternoon.

Once completed, the new Rubius Therapeutics facility will support 160 new jobs in manufacturing, biotech operations and other support functions.

Governor Gina Raimondo, officials from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Rubius Therapeutics CEO Dr. Pablo Cagnoni broke ground on the project Wednesday.

“The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Governor Raimondo have an impressive and growing track record of attracting top biotechnology companies and creating high paying jobs,” Cagnoni said. “I am happy to be able to say that Rubius Therapeutics is now a part of this booming ecosystem of biotechnology innovation.”

Founded in 2013, Rubius Therapeutics is developing treatments for cancer and other diseases using a new technology it calls Red Cell Therapeutics. The company plans to invest up to $155 million over approximately five years to renovate an existing 135,000 square-foot building in Smithfield.

“Thanks to our investments in economic development and skills training, Rhode Island’s biotechnology industry is on the rise,” Raimondo said. “Rubius is a leader in their field, and I’m thrilled that they’re investing in our state and creating 160 good-paying jobs here in Smithfeld.”

Rubius Therapeutics will take the place of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, who previously owned the facility. The company announced in January they were buying the facility from Alexion.

According to Appleseed, a third-party economic analysis firm, the new facility is projected to add $6.34 million in net revenue to the state over the 12-year commitment period and increase the state’s GDP by $28.1 million annually.

“We are very pleased that Rubius Therapeutics has broken ground on its new advanced manufacturing facility,” Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor said. “Rubius joins companies such as Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, and EpiVax in our flourishing bioscience ecosystem. We congratulate Rubius on this milestone and look forward to the company’s success here.”

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