Life Science Jobs Coming to Thomaston

It’s not as sexy, say, as stem-cell research or nano-technology, but Georgia added an animal products factory Wednesday to its growing life-science portfolio.  Smyrna-based Animal Health & Sciences Inc. will invest $9.1 million and hire 100 people in Thomaston, about an hour south of Atlanta. They’ll make chemicals for shampoos, powders and aerosols to keep pests off dogs, cats and horses.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much of an animal health presence we have here in Georgia,” said Charles Craig, president of Georgia Bio, a nonprofit that promotes the bio-tech industry. The announcement “is just another example of Georgia’s attractiveness as a destination for bio-science industry development.”

The state’s life-science industry – bio-engineered medicines, foods, fuels and agricultural products — produces an annual economic impact of $16 billion, according to the Selig Center at the University of Georgia. More than 60,000 people, either directly or indirectly, work in the industry.

The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Emory and other universities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, perform ground-breaking bio-tech research. The U.S. Department of Agriculture runs a research center in Athens.

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