For nearly 10 years, Dan Ross worked in the labs at Pfizer in Jackson, Mich. Then the recession hit, shutting down the plant and taking his job. Determined to stay in Michigan, Ross started his own lab and hired his own team to test antibiotics before they land on the shelves of the pharmacy.
The life sciences industry doesn’t generally spring to mind when one thinks of Jackson, Michigan. Yet, the Jackson area is home to one of Michigan’s emerging biotechnology companies – a company that is poised for success. TransPharm Preclinical Solutions is a contract research organization (CRO) that provides a complete array of studies in infectious disease animal models for the antibiotic discovery industry. TransPharm president and CEO, Dan Ross, proudly promotes his company as “being located in the heart of Michigan’s Biotechnology Corridor, mid-way between the life sciences hubs of Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo and just south of Michigan State University.”
Transpharm Preclinical Solutions has been awarded full accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Fewer than 800 companies, universities, hospitals and government agencies in the world have earned this distinction, according to the group’s website.
Dan Ross recently purchased a large world map and intends to hang it inside his microbiology laboratory in Napoleon Township. He plans to place pins in all the countries in which his small firm has clients, and even though it’s been open less than a year, there are enough geographically diverse pin placements that there is no chance of it falling down. The team at TransPharm Preclinical Solutions is already doing work for pharmaceutical companies, big and small, across the U.S., from Connecticut to California. They soon will be doing work for a company in India and have interest from companies in Switzerland and Australia.
Twenty-two companies along the Interstate-94 corridor will share $5.05 million from a state program targeting retention of Pfizer Inc. assets and talent. Low-interest loans of between $50,000 and $400,000 went to the companies following approval by the Michigan Strategic Fund board.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced Michigan companies to receive loans under the Company Formation and Growth Fund, an initiative designed to retain Pfizer talent and assets in Michigan as a result of the global downsizing of the company’s workforce. The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved $5.05 million in low-interest loans to 22 companies in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Kalamazoo, and Portage. Combined, the companies are expected to create 101 new jobs.