Eagan-based Prime Therapeutics is receiving financial assistance from the state to expand into a new office and add 300 jobs.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said Tuesday that it is working to finalize a $500,000 "forgivable loan" for Prime Therapeutics to fund the company's expansion in Eagan. The loan will be forgiven once the company meets its employment goal.
That goal includes adding 300 information technology and business analyst jobs locally. Prime Therapeutics already has offices in Eagan and Bloomington, and through its expansion, the company will now also occupy the former home of Buffets, Inc., at 1460 Buffet Way in Eagan. The company will maintain its existing Eagan headquarters, and the former Buffets location will provide additional office space.
Prime Therapeutics is a pharmacy benefit management company, and its pharmacy benefit services cover nearly 19 million individuals. Its clients include employers and union groups, as well as third-party administrators.
The company was founded in Eagan in 1987 as the pharmacy business for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Today, it is collectively owned by 12 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, as well as subsidiaries and affiliates of those plans. According to Prime Therapeutics' Web site, the company currently employs 2,100.
"We are excited to strengthen our foothold in Minnesota and create new professional jobs for Eagan, Dakota County, and for Prime," Eric Elliott, Prime Therapeutics president and CEO, said in a statement.
DEED said that the city of Eagan, the Dakota County Community Development Agency, and Greater MSP-an economic development group aimed at attracting jobs to the Twin Cities-all played a role in Prime Therapeutics' expansion planning.
"We're thrilled that Prime Therapeutics has made a commitment to expand in the Twin Cities," DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement. "This is a fast-growing company that is creating quality jobs in the state and is widely recognized for its high standards in the pharmacy benefits industry."
Some large Eagan employers have announced plans this year to eliminate jobs in the area. For example, Lockheed Martin plans to shutter its facilities, and Mesaba Airlines recently said it will close its Eagan headquarters.
But Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire praised Prime Therapeutics' expansion plans as a positive sign for the city: "This continues the positive news for Eagan and the Twin Cities region, where we've proven once again that people here have the skills and work ethic to help innovative companies like Prime Therapeutics expand," he said in a statement.