Athens lands $250M lab facility as Georgia grows life sciences sector

Medical company Meissner says future Athens-Clarke County facility will create 1,700 jobs by 2031
Meissner Corporation announced it will open a facility in Athens-Clarke County, which is expected to create 1,700 jobs by 2031.

Credit: Meissner Corporation

Credit: Meissner Corporation

Meissner Corporation announced it will open a facility in Athens-Clarke County, which is expected to create 1,700 jobs by 2031.

A life sciences company that specializes in microfiltration and pharmaceutical products announced Wednesday it will open a large facility in Athens-Clarke County, a major investment in an industry Georgia has heavily pursued.

Meissner Corporation, headquartered in Camarillo, California, will invest nearly $250 million in the factory, which is expected to employ more than 1,700 workers over the next eight years, according to a news release. Meissner’s Georgia facility will be the company’s second manufacturing campus in the United States when it opens in 2026.

For decades, Georgia has targeted the bioscience and life sciences sectors, which reached new levels of exposure following the COVID-19 pandemic. Recruiting the Meissner facility is another notch in the belt for state leaders prioritizing the industry and trying to compete with other biomedical hubs throughout the country.

Pat Wilson, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said in the release that Meissner’s specific microfiltration technology benefits the state’s existing companies while growing the state’s life sciences footprint.

“From life sciences to food processing, companies across the state rely on these filtration systems to produce products that are safe for use,” he said. “The addition of Meissner to our state’s business community will complement the state’s industry mix while also diversifying the local economy in Athens-Clarke County.”

Founded in 1984, Meissner is one of the world’s largest privately held companies in the bioprocessing sector, the release said. The company develops, manufactures, supplies and services microfiltration produces used for oncologic, cardiologic and immunologic practices. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meissner “provided critical products which enabled the development, manufacture and distribution of numerous lifesaving therapeutics and vaccines,” the release said.

Meissner’s new facility will be located at the Christian Industrial Tract at 1310 Spring Valley Road in Winterville, within five miles of the University of Georgia and Athens Technical College. The company’s campus, which will be built across multiple phases, will include cleanroom facilities, laboratories and office spaces in addition to research and development areas.

“The State of Georgia, and Athens-Clarke County in particular, is an ideal location with an incredible talent pool and strong geographic position that allows us to serve clients on the East Coast and throughout the world,” Christopher Meissner, president of Meissner, said in the release.

Meissner will likely qualify for Georgia Quick Start job creation tax credits. A GDEcD spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that discretionary incentive negotiations remain active.

In 2012, the state landed a massive $1 billion Baxter International bioscience plant near Covington. The plant has changed hands since then and is now operated by Takeda.

In Atlanta, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based, Georgia Tech has also become the epicenter of growing life sciences investment as companies flock to attract the institute’s students and graduates. Last summer, Georgia Tech’s development partners broke ground on Science Square, a massive 18-acre innovation center planned to eventually include more than 2.3 million square feet of lab and office space targeting medical and bioscience companies.

Rowen, a life sciences facility in east Gwinnett County, also broke ground last year on a 2,000-acre site. It’s poised to become the region’s hub for medical research, located roughly between the higher education centers in Atlanta and Athens.