New pharmaceutical company brings business to village

ROUSES POINT - The creation of a new pharmaceutical business that will operate in the village of Rouses Point is something politicians and community leaders are envisioning as another win for the North Country.

During a press conference at the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce Feb. 18, it was announced newly-formed Rouses Point Pharmaceuticals has entered a manufacturing agreement with Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, operating out of its Maple Street facility. The new company recently began shipping its first product, Propranolol-ER, a generic drug described as a "non-selective beta-blocker mainly used in the treatment of hypertension."

Benjamin E. Maizel, president and chief executive officer of Rouses Point Pharmaceuticals, said the reception the company in the marketplace "has been great." Maizel added he anticipates first-year sales will be in excess of $20 million, with the expectation of increasing the number of drugs it will produce through Akrimax tenfold.

"We have goals for a lot more products in the coming years," he said.

Rouses Point Pharmaceuticals, it was described, is the creation of Akrimax founders Joseph J. Krivulka and Leonard L. Mazur, who were first introduced to the North Country in January 2008. The pharmaceutical manufacturing company made headlines when it struck an agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to take over operation of its Rouses Point manufacturing facility by 2010.

Krivulka credited the support of the community, the company's employees, and politicians like U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D- N.Y., who was on-hand for the announcement, for making Akrimax successful in its growth. Already, there are more than 30 projects in the works for Akrimax, thanks to that support and the cooperation the company has seen with Wyeth, he added.

"It is this kind of help from the North Country and from the people we have internally that has helped us actually move ahead of our schedule transitioning into the plant," said Krivulka.

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