In the heart of Tennessee, where the rolling hills meet a culture of innovation, August Bioservices has undergone a transformative journey since its November 2020 announcement to significantly expand in Nashville by investing over $150 million and creating more than 200 new jobs.
This biotech pharma company has grown into a world class drug manufacturing facility and hub for research and development, drawing attention to the Volunteer State in a whole new way.
August Bioservices is a Nashville-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that focuses on critical sterile injectable medications that are delivered intravenously, typically in a hospital setting.
“Because August Bioservices is the first sterile injectable pharmaceutical manufacturer in Middle Tennessee, we are a pioneer in every sense of the word,” said Jenn Adams, CEO of August Bioservices. “The services we offer to our customers, and the specificity of the facilities and equipment that are required to support the work that we do, are unique to the region.”
“We are a pioneer in every sense of the word.”
Since the CDMO’s November 2020 expansion announcement, August Bioservices has fully renovated its Elm Hill Pike location and is currently in the process of expanding its site footprint – building an additional new facility that will house multiple high-speed manufacturing lines.
“The expansion and new filling lines means we can deliver more impact for our customers and more critical medications for patients who need them,” reflected Adams.
In November 2022, August Bioservices further solidified its commitment to growing in Tennessee by investing an additional $65 million and pledging to create 90 incremental jobs, which represents a significant transformation from the 55 employees and legacy facility that August Bioservices acquired in July 2020.
“There isn’t a lot of pharma or biotech here, so many of our early hires were recruited from biotech hubs in other parts of the country,” said Adams. “We recognize that asking candidates to relocate to join August Bio is a big decision. The fact that Nashville is such an attractive place for people to build their lives and careers has been a significant enabler in our recruitment progress.”
Middle Tennessee’s health care industry employs nearly 500,000 and generates $95 billion in global revenue. However, the industry’s biggest gap was pharmaceutical biotech, until August Bioservices began to fill it.
“As a first mover in this industry in Middle Tennessee, we think that we have a unique opportunity to serve as a magnet for other biotech and pharma companies, particularly our customers, because we’re working on behalf of biotech and pharma customers,” said Adams. “Everything we do for our customers we do with great care, from advancing progress on their molecules to serving as an extension of their internal development teams.”
When it comes to new injectable drug products, August Bioservices plays a critical role in their development.
“At this point, about 70 percent of our work here – from drug development to analytical testing to manufacturing – is supporting our clients’ drug product candidates currently in clinical trials,” said Amanda Parker, who serves as senior director of project management. “It’s challenging work to be sure, but also extremely exciting and rewarding because we get to develop drug products from start to finish. We’re working on tomorrow’s potential drug products today.”
At the forefront of developing and manufacturing lifesaving therapies is August Bioservices’ strong commitment to quality.
“We’re focused on quality, not as a buzzword, but as a standard of excellence,” said Mike Scribner, vice president of quality at August Bioservices. “Prioritizing quality ensures that our products are safe, and that they have the right efficacy. Ultimately, our focus on quality is central to the realization of our goal to impact patients’ lives in a positive way.”
“We’re focused on quality, not as a buzzword, but as a standard of excellence.”
The quality department comprises approximately 40% of the workforce at August Bioservices, but for Scribner, quality is everyone’s responsibility.
“I think the differentiator with August Bioservices is we have people from many different stages of life and career experience, that share the commitment to deploying their expertise toward delivering solutions for our customers that are highly technical in nature. This combination of commitment and applied expertise is something that I haven’t seen before,” he explained.
Another thing that sets August Bioservices apart is the variety of its customer base.
“We work with so many customers that bring forth a wide range of technologies and therapeutic ideas such as innovative treatments for everything from kidney disease to cancer. Our customers can be large, global pharma companies as well as small, emerging companies.”
The fact that August Bioservices is a U.S.-based manufacturer located in the heart of Tennessee has proven to be very important to the CDMO’s customers.
“Being based in the USA – and centrally located in Middle Tennessee – definitely has its advantages,” said Parker. “The U.S. remains one of the largest healthcare markets in the world, with, of course, many of the world’s leading physicians and hospitals.”
As August Bioservices’ customer base continues to grow, its need for talent will grow as well. One of the CDMO’s big initiatives for 2024 is to partner with local trade schools, community colleges, universities and high schools to help students, teachers and administrators understand that remarkable opportunities to work within the pharma and biotech industry are literally in their back yard.
The CDMO is even working with these organizations to collaborate on curricula for interested students.
“We have a co-op program starting up with one of the technical colleges in the area so that once students graduate, they can seamlessly enter the August Bio workforce with background that they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” said Colette Lanzon, talent acquisition business partner for August Bioservices.
Beyond the talent recruitment, lifesaving treatments and groundbreaking discoveries in biotechnology, August Bioservices also prioritizes the wellbeing and growth of its current employees.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure we’re nurturing the talent that’s already here just as much as we are spreading the word about the opportunities we have to grow our team,” Lanzon said.
Working at August Bioservices has proven to be profoundly fulfilling in the lives of many of its employees.
“I love working at August Bio because having the knowledge that I am a direct contributor in helping to produce new drug therapies is truly uplifting,” said Parker. “The technologies that we are currently developing, that we manufacture, hold within them the promise that one day they may help save lives. What could be better than that?”
“Having the knowledge that I am a direct contributor in helping to produce new drug therapies is truly uplifting.”
So, what does the future look like for August Bioservices?
“The thing I’m most excited about is the opportunity to build a world-class pharmaceutical plant from the ground up,” said Scribner. “That doesn’t happen very often anywhere, and to be the first to do that in Middle Tennessee is something that I think everyone on the team is really excited about.”
Adams has big goals in mind.
“When I think about the future for August Bioservices, we will have been successful 10 years from now if we are delivering significant impact to our customers, which in turn means that we will be delivering millions of doses of sterile injectable medications to patients who otherwise may be untreated. Delivering impact in this way is why the team at August Bio does what we do.”
To learn more about August Bioservices, visit www.augustbio.com.