Selkirk Pharma is a new technology company that has set up shop in Spokane’s West Plains. Spokane natives made up the majority of the biotech startup’s founders. Selkirk will produce injectable pharmaceuticals, which might include vaccinations or chemotherapy. Because of the pandemic and the need for COVID vaccine, demand for facilities like Selkirk is constructing near the airport is surging.
CEO Pat Haffey said, “Most of us are raised here, we have our families here currently, and when we were thinking about where to build this facility, this was home. But there’s also a lot of other products that need to keep being made. We need to keep investing in Alzheimer’s research, in cancer research. These I things that I think we’re going to address or cure in our lifetimes. So the manufacturing capacity needs to be there.”
The business will operate as a contractor, producing goods for clients of various sizes and products. One of my favorite aspects of contract manufacturing is the possibility of working with a top ten pharmaceutical business one day. The next day, you’re working on an innovative project with a small but dedicated team from a new biotech business.
Every product, however, will have one thing in common: it must be carefully manufactured in a sterile atmosphere. That’s why Selkirk Pharma needs a highly specialized facility, which they started building last September and plan to be finished in May. There will be stringent security and cleanliness standards in place.
Three secure rooms sit at the center of the facility, where everything from workers to materials to ventilation and floor vibrations is meticulously monitored. Selkirk Pharma currently employs only a few dozen people. However, there will be many more when they reach maximum capacity in a few years. The institution will hire a wide range of expertise, including chemists, engineers, and mechanics. Hiring locally, according to Haffey, is an aim of his.