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Galderma expanding in Fort Worth: $22 million R&D center to add 350+ jobs

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Galderma Laboratories’ new $22 million research and development center in Fort Worth will help the company secure U.S. approval for its products, Humberto Antunes, CEO of Nestle Skin Health S.A., and chairman of the Board of Galderma Pharma, said Wednesday.

The 100,000 square foot expansion will be adjacent to Galderma’s North American headquarters on the west side of Interstate 35 W., just north of Alliance Airport.

The expansion, scheduled to open in 2017, will add more than 350 new jobs to the 300 already housed at Galderma in far North Fort Worth, Mayor Betsy Price said.

Location, workforce, weather, nearby universities and nursing schools and Fort Worth’s enthusiastic mayor were major factors in the decision to expand in Fort Worth plus “it’s so much easier to do things here,” Antunes said at the annual Mayor’s International Luncheon, sponsored by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

Antunes said his heart was set on expansion in Texas but both New York and New Jersey were also under consideration. The Fort Worth City Council sealed the deal with a 10-year, $635,000 tax abatement and economic development agreement approved at the end of July. Antunes said the company is also seeking a grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund for the expansion. Galderma is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle SA, Switzerland.

Expanded facilities will be used for research needed to get regulatory approval on new Galderma technology and therapeutic products to treat hair, nail and skin diseases, ranging from acne to rosacea, psoriasis and skin cancer.

The company’s skin care products include prescription medications, over-the-counter cleansers and moisturizers, a muscle relaxer (similar to Botox) and a complete line of injectable facial fillers.

Galderma expanded into aesthetic and corrective dermatology in July 2014 when it acquired the rights to distribute Restylane and Perlane products to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds.

Skin is the human body’s largest organ, an envelope protecting what’s inside, Antunes said Oct. 28. Galderma is focused on holistic skin health – maintaining, nourishing, enhancing, treating, correcting and restoring skin health.

“Keeping people healthy longer is very important. … With this $22 million investment, the sky’s the limit,” Antunes said. “We will be working to develop an array of products the U.S. (FDA) has not registered yet. … We are a truly global company, very international. We think global, but we interact 100 percent with the communities where we are.”

Galderma has board members from Austria, Brazil, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland and major research facilities in France, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland as well as the United States, he said. Worldwide, the company employs about 6,000 people.

“Our goal is to grow the number of people the company serves to over a billion within 10 years by offering skin health solutions that primarily maintain, nourish and enhance and, if needed, treat, correct and restore the skin to its healthy state,” Antunes said last March when he introduced a new leadership team for Galderma Laboratories L.P.

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