Jun 06, 2016

Biotech firm gets IDA aid for $8.4M upgrade

June 2, 2016 By Victor Ocasio   victor.ocasio@newsday.com

United Biomedical Inc. offices on Davids driveUnited Biomedical Inc. offices on Davids drive in Hauppauge. June 2, 2016 (Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

A Hauppauge biotech company working to develop synthetic vaccines for Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS was approved Thursday for tax breaks for an $8.4 million building purchase and renovation project.

United Biomedical Inc., which has leased its headquarters at 25 Davids Dr. in Hauppauge since 1992, sought assistance from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to buy the 43,000-square-foot building, and has plans to renovate the property to upgrade its lab and manufacturing space.

Citing “recent developments” with its product pipeline in a letter to the IDA, the company said it is anticipating a “period of growth.” The company has 38 employees now, and plans to hire another six as part of the expansion.

Francine Volz, executive director of business administration for UBI, declined to say specifically what developments the research company has seen recently. The renovation is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2017, she said.

Founded in 1983, UBI has researched and tested vaccines for several diseases in both humans and animals. The company’s vaccination research focuses on the use of peptides — amino acid-based chemical compounds — as the foundation for potential vaccines for Alzheimer’s and AIDS.

The IDA approved UBI for a sales tax exemption of up to $79,350 on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and renovation materials, a mortgage recording tax exemption of $61,425, and a 10-year property tax abatement with a 50 percent reduction in existing property taxes for the first year that decreases by 5 percent annually for the remaining years.

According to the company’s application to the IDA, UBI has a corporate office in Dallas, and has been “courted by Texas to move the entire R&D facility” there. The privately held company also has subsidiary operations in China and Taiwan.

Anthony J. Catapano, executive director of the IDA, said supporting UBI fits the IDA’s goal of keeping “the companies that we have here” and supporting “the companies that have flourished.”

“These are well-paying jobs,” he added.

On average, employees earn annual salaries of $73,171, according to the application.

UBI is also applying for lower cost energy through the state Power Authority’s ReCharge New York program, as well as tax credits through Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Program, according to the application.