EVENDALE, Ohio — One of Greater Cincinnati’s fastest-growing startups is planning to consolidate three locations into one $45 million headquarters capable of holding more than 1,000 employees.
Enable Injections Inc. is looking at sites in Evendale, Mason, West Chester and Blue Ash for a new home that would combine its research and manufacturing operations by 2027.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved tax breaks Monday worth about $3 million to encourage the project.
CEO Mike Hooven said it’s a crucial step in the company’s quest to replace IV therapy with a drug infusion system patients can safely use at home.
“If this isn’t a $5 billion-plus company in the next five years, then I’m doing something wrong,” Hooven said. “This will be a much bigger company than that.”
The expansion will boost production of the enFuse system, a wearable device that uses a tiny needle to inject liquid medication under the skin. The company is partnering with pharmaceutical companies to develop the palm-sized disk to deliver infusion therapies for biologics.
These drugs are made from plant or animal cells to trigger genes or proteins in ways that fight cancer, arthritis and other diseases. They represent one of the fastest growing segments of the pharmaceutical industry, projected to more than double to $719 billion by 2030, according to Precedence Research.
Enable Injections has deals with four different companies to produce enFuse devices that are specifically designed for a particular medication. The companies are seeking Food and Drug Administration approval to distribute the devices through pharmacies, so patients can obtain their treatments like other prescriptions.
“This can be done in the clinic. It can be done at home. And it can be done at home by the patient as well,” Hooven said. “So, we’re providing a tremendous amount of flexibility for the patient, for the health care provider, for the pharma company and for the payers. We’re looking to take a significant amount of cost out of the health care system.”
Enable Injections was founded in 2010 on technology developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It has raised more than $300 million in venture capital funding since inception, including a $210 million Series C offering in January that set the record for Greater Cincinnati’s largest fundraising round.
That gives the company time to expand its manufacturing capacity in phases, as it plans for the new headquarters and an initial public offering to fund future growth.
“Could be as early as next year. Could be later in ’24,” Hooven said. “We have plenty of cash. So, we have a great runway. And we will go public when the time is right.”
Chief Financial Officer Tim Flaherty said the company will settle on a site for its permanent home in the next six months.
“To build a new facility from the ground up would be a $45 million investment,” Flaherty said. “We would look to rent, most likely, have a real estate person invest and then we’d rent it back.”
Its agreement with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority calls for Enable Injections to create 257 new jobs with a combined payroll of $19.9 million, which equates to an average annual salary of $77,400. The company also agreed to retain the 193 jobs already in place at its Evendale headquarters and locations in West Chester and Franklin.
“We could definitely use more hands,” said Lindsay Spellman, a senior manufacturing project engineer for Enable Injections. “We have a lot of things we could do to further improve where we are today. And with more people we’ll have more opportunity to act on those ideas and improve capacity and efficiency.”
Spellman grew up near Cleveland and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an MBA and engineering degree. She joined Enable Injections seven years ago and helped design and build about half the machines that make enFuse devices.
"I really like the product,” Spellman said. “It’s very exciting. It’s definitely going to revolutionize the industry. And I really love the people we have here. So, we have an amazing team. They’re very supportive. And you really get up and look forward to coming to work in the morning.”