Two biotech companies settle and expand in Peoria

Dr. Shane Needham shakes hands with center director Mike Stubbs after signing the lease for his...
Dr. Shane Needham shakes hands with center director Mike Stubbs after signing the lease for his company, Veloxity Labs.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 9:52 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - A new biotech company is moving to the River City, and a separate company is preparing for a big, local expansion.

Bioanalysis startup Veloxity Labs and technology firm Midwest Bioprocessing Center were honored and introduced Wednesday at the Peoria Next Innovation Center.

Veloxity Labs marks the 50th company to set up shop at the facility on Main Street, and CEO Shane Needham says there is a lot to like about Peoria - especially for prospective employees.

“They want a quality of life like Peoria affords. They want affordable housing, they want a low cost to do business,” Needham said. “They want to go take their kids to soccer game at 3:00 and still go back to work at 4:00. That’s the quality of life that we have in Peoria.”

Midwest Bioprocessing Center has some big plans as well. The company started in 2019 with one lab - and now, thanks to a $1.85 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, it is planning to triple production.

“The wet lab space here is great. More importantly, it is the access to students from Bradley University as interns,” company manager Dr. David Demirjian said.

The companies will use the space to focus on disease research and drug development.

They are set to get the ball rolling in the coming weeks, and by early 2022, the Peoria Next Innovation Center will reach more than three-quarters capacity.

“There just so much of that great feeling from a city perspective. Everybody’s on board. Everyone wants to move the ship in the right direction,” center director Michael Stubbs said.

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