Nephron headquarters’ move to Lexington County almost complete

Replacement hires are South Carolinians

Nephron Pharmaceuticals announced last month it is moving its headquarters from Orlando, Fla. to its Lexington County Facility.

Nephron President and CEO Lou Kennedy said Thursday there are only a few Nephron employees left in Orlando and the move is almost complete.

“They are ‘winterizing’ the Florida location,” Kennedy said, explaining the final touches are being put into the shutdown of that plant.

Nephron, just outside of Cayce. (Photo by Terry Ward)

She said about 25 employees chose to transfer to South Carolina. Other than those, all new hiring has been done at the South Carolina facility that sits in West Columbia in the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park, just outside of Cayce on 12th Street Extension.

Kennedy said the Nephron plant currently has about 330 employees.

“South Carolina is very pro-manufacturing jobs and focused on workforce development,” Kennedy told the Orlando Business Journal when the move was announced. “That’s good for business.”

Nephron makes respiratory medications and Kennedy said it ships 90-million-plus doses each month. She said Nephron has received approval from the Federal Drug Administration for the relocation of manufacture for about half of Nephron’s products. Kennedy said approval for the rest is just a formality.

In June, Kennedy said Nephron was operating filling lines, 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.

Nephron has invested more than $330 million into its plant in Lexington County’s Saxe Gotha Industrial Park. Lexington County Council Chairman Todd Cullum said the economic benefit from the county’s effort to develop the park, and court tenants, has been enormous.

“It’s been worth everything we’ve put into it,” Cullum said. “The industrial park is paying off, and there is a lot more coming.”

Nephron is expected to create more than 700 jobs in Lexington County.

Company founder and Lou’s husband, Bill Kennedy donated $1 million to Midlands Tech for the William Jerry Wood Life Skills Center. The facility is named in honor of Lou Kennedy’s father, who was an instructor at Midlands Tech for about 15 years.

The Kennedys donated $30 million to the University of South Carolina for the William P. and Lou W. Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center. Both are USC graduates.