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Pharmaceuticals made right here in Gainesville
Jonathan Gass, a quality control analyst for Elan Drug Technologies, tests raw materials Friday afternoon in the company’s laboratory.

Made in North Georgia

Local businesses are responsible for a variety of products— chicken, chewing gum, yarn and even turkey calls.
Today, we continue a series looking at some of those products made right here in Northeast Georgia, with a look pharmaceuticals made at Elan Drug Technologies, an international company with a presence in Gainesville.

The next time you pick up a prescription from the pharmacy, take a close look at the label — it may have been produced right here in Gainesville.

Elan Drug Technologies has been researching, developing and manufacturing pharmaceuticals in Hall County since the early 1980s. Some of the products EDT has helped develop include things like Ritalin LA, Verelan PM and Avinza.

“We use our technology to enhance third-party compounds. For example, the current formula may call for a medication to be taken three times a day,” said Donogh McGuire, EDT vice president and general manager. “We can reformulate it, so that it’s only taken once a day.”

Donald Panoz, founder of Château Élan, launched Elan Corp. in 1969 in Ireland before deciding to open EDT in Gainesville in 1981.

“The U.S. is the biggest pharmaceuticals market in the world. If you want to be a successful company, you need to have a U.S. presence,” McGuire said. “(Panoz) looked at many possible U.S. sites, but I imagine he saw a lot of the same attributes here that helped him build a successful company in Ireland.”

The local office was the first the company opened in the United States. Since then, it has opened another U.S. office in Pennsylvania.

Proximity to airports, access to qualified staff and a good business culture are all among the many reasons EDT has called Gainesville home for the last several decades, McGuire said.

“Ten different products are manufactured here. Some we make from scratch, others are finished here for our operations in Ireland.”

With an 87,000-square-foot facility here in Gainesville, EDT produces capsules and tablets that are marketed all over the world — including Europe and Asia.

“We have around 160 employees (here in Gainesville) — that number has been steady for the last few years, which is great in this economy,” McGuire said. “Gainesville has been a very successful site.”