brammer bio

NORTON — The town is on the verge of becoming the biotech capital of the area.

A large pharmaceutical company plans to locate in town and would be the second business of its kind to come to Norton in recent years.

Cambridge-based Brammer Bio, which in the spring became part of global giant Thermo Fisher Scientific, hopes to open a facility at 176 South Washington St. near Interstate 495. The location is where online apparel and accessories company Bodek and Rhodes had a warehouse.

Brammer Bio provides development and manufacturing services for cell and gene therapies.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Waltham, is a $24 billion company with 70,000 employees worldwide. It announced in May it had acquired Brammer for $1.7 billion cash.

Brammer itself was formed in March 2016 from the merger of BioPharmaceuticals and Florida Biologix.

Brammer has nearly 600 employees at locations in Massachusetts, including in Lexington and Somerville, and Florida.

The pharmaceutical company expects to have about 300 employees in Norton by 2021, town officials have been told.

Residents will be asked to approve a tax break known as a TIF, or Tax Increment Financing agreement, for the business at a special town meeting Aug. 26.

Selectmen at their latest meeting voted to call for the special town meeting.

Details of the tax advantages for the firm are still being worked out, Town Manager Michael Yunits said.

“We’ve been working with them and with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development,” Yunits said. “We think it will be a great opportunity for them and us.”

It would mark the second large pharmaceutical business to make Norton home in recent years.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge-based company, built a 200,000-square-foot, $200 million building in Norton’s industrial park near Taunton.

The company received a $1.65 million state tax break for creating 110 jobs and a $7 million, 13-year tax break from the town.

“We’re excited to have two pharmaceutical manufacturers in town,” Yunits said. “Other companies may look at us as a destination to relocate.”

When ground was broken three years ago for Alnylam’s building, state officials including Gov. Charlie Baker noted that the biotech industry was locating outside its traditional Route 128 area.

As for the special town meeting, the session is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at Norton High School.

The deadline to submit articles for the meeting warrant is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the selectmen’s office at town hall.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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