COOKEVILLE – Aphena Pharma Solutions will be expanding its Cookeville operations to the tune of $7 million.

The company, a large pharmaceutical solution provider, said Tuesday it will add onto its Browns Mill Road facility; the capital investment also means 150 new jobs over the course of the next five years.

“Aphena’s expansion is very exciting and couples well with the other economic growth announcements we have had in recent months,” Putnam County Executive Randy Porter said in a release. “New industry attraction to our county is very important, but seeing growth and expansion in our existing companies certainly is a powerful indicator of a healthy economy. We want to continue to see companies feel great about doing business in Putnam County, and we are grateful for Aphena.”

Aphena will almost double the size of the Cookeville facility with significant increases in manufacturing space, warehouse space and DEA storage capacity, the company said.

The facility will house solid and semisolid dose packaging operations, bottling, cartoning, blister packaging, pouching, secondary packaging, rework projects and kit assembly.  Two Aphena Pharma facilities will total around 140,000 square feet.

“Aphena’s site expansion in Cookeville reflects our continued commitment to support the growing needs of our customers in pharmaceutical and nutritional products,” said Eric Allen, Aphena’s corporate vice president of sales and marketing. “Our objective is to continue to build upon the current industry need for newly approved branded or generic drugs as well as compliance with new federal laws around serialization requirements. Aphena has positioned itself to support significant future volume growth.”

Aphena focuses on contract packaging, repackaging and manufacturing for the pharmaceutical, OTC, dietary supplement, animal health, consumer health and medical device marketplaces. It was formed by a family of well-established, seasoned companies (PrePak Systems, TestPak, Celeste and Integrated Pharmaceutical Packaging) in a strategic alliance. Aphena has five FDA-registered facilities in the U.S. The products Aphena is actively handling are solid dose, liquids, gels, creams, ointments, foams, suspensions and lotions. Per its website, it currently has 450 employees companywide.

“Cookeville is thankful to have companies like Aphena willing to be an active part of our city,” said Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton. “Their expansion here speaks directly to the business environment, the motivated spirit, and the work ethic of our community. More quality jobs for Cookeville means better quality of life for our citizens.”

The news comes on the heels of another major economic development announcement earlier this month – when Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a technical, engineering, intelligence and IT sector provider, said it was opening a facility in Cookeville and adding 300 jobs.

George Halford, president/CEO of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, called Aphena’s expansion “yet another example of the unprecedented success we are seeing in our region.”

“The local leadership of Aphena has been actively engaged in our community’s growth from day one,” he added. “I cannot say enough about the quality and caliber of their team. They have supported economic development in our area by investing in the Highlands Economic Partnership, and our hat goes off to them for choosing to plant roots even more deeply here.”