Rendering of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals campus in Verona. The company broke ground on the project on Monday.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals broke ground on a major $220 million project in Verona on Monday with financial help from state and local officials. 

Gov. Tony Evers announced the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is providing $2.5 million in performance-based tax credits to Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals.

The city of Verona is also providing up to $16 million in tax incremental financing to help support the project. The endeavor plans to create more than 230 “high-paying jobs.” 

“In the last few years, Wisconsin has been recognized as a powerhouse not just for discovering the latest advances in biopharmaceutical research and development but in manufacturing and producing these lifesaving treatments as well,” Evers said.

“That means that companies like Arrowhead can research new therapies for debilitating diseases, bring them to market, and manufacture them all right here in Wisconsin. To me, that’s pretty remarkable and worth investing in. So, I’m proud to celebrate our state’s investment of $2.5 million in Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals’ project to expand its presence here in Wisconsin and create good-paying jobs for Wisconsinites.”

WEDC is assisting Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals with $2.5 million in performance-based business development tax credits, which the company will receive if it meets or exceeds job creation and capital investment goals by the end of 2026. 

“WEDC is pleased to partner with Arrowhead because they have the potential to transform health care, and all of our lives, through innovation, persistence and collaboration,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC.

“Arrowhead joins a growing list of biopharmaceutical companies that have chosen to locate in Wisconsin because of the strategic investments our state has made in worker education and training, infrastructure and strong communities in recent years.”

An economic analysis by WEDC indicates the project will directly and indirectly create nearly 1,700 jobs, yielding more than $6 million in state taxes during the term of the award.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, based in southern California, broke ground on a new campus in Verona on Monday. The campus plans to consist of a 125,000-square-foot laboratory and office facility, and a second 160,000-square-foot drug manufacturing facility. 

“We have seen firsthand the tremendous value that the Wisconsin biotech ecosystem can afford a nimble and aggressive company like Arrowhead,” said Christopher Anzalone, president and CEO of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. “The local community has supported us graciously over the last decade, so we look forward to this expansion contributing to the further growth in the region as we work to make medicines with a potential global impact.”

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals is developing new medicines for intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. It does this by tapping into a process called RNA interference, or RNAi. RNAi is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals’ therapies trigger the RNAi mechanism in cells to reduce the amount of a target protein produced. Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals is conducting clinical trials all over the world to create potential medicines for cardiovascular, liver, lung and muscle diseases, as well as for cancer.