Forty-nine years ago, Wayne State University unveiled its brand new Detroit Research Park, located across from the John C. Lodge Freeway not far from the football stadium. The ceremony was held in front of a crowd of dignitaries that included Mayor Jerome Cavanagh. One of the first such endeavors of its kind in the nation, the grand opening was a big deal—yet another achievement in a city that seemed to have no limits to its success.
Ash Stevens, a contract research and chemical development company, promptly moved into the Detroit Research Park, got to work seeking government research grants, and waited for its fellow tenants to move in. And waited. And waited. And waited.
Years went by until eventually low-income housing went in where startup companies were intended to be lodged. Many would say it’s a typical Detroit story of decline, except for one significant difference: Ash Stevens still maintains an office in the Detroit Research Park, though it has long since expanded to a manufacturing facility in Riverview, MI to accommodate what is now the bulk of its business: the development, registration, and manufacturing of the active ingredients in cancer drugs such as Velcade, Vidaza, and Clolar.
“You’ll never see our brand in the marketplace,” says Stephen Munk, CEO and president of Ash Stevens. “We strictly do the chemistry piece. Our clients range from the biggest pharmaceutical corporations to the smallest companies.”
Munk notes that since January 2003, the Food and Drug Administration has approved about 100 active- … Next Page »