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Zoetis, a global company with a site in Lincoln that supplies animal health products to more than 120 countries, is the winner of the 2015 Governor’s Bioscience Award.

Gov. Pete Ricketts presented the award Thursday to Zoetis site manager Betty Mason at the Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association 10th Anniversary Celebration at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln. 

The award recognizes individuals and companies that have made significant contributions to the bioscience industry in Nebraska.

Zoetis is the animal health subsidiary that Pfizer spun off two years ago. Mason was named Zoetis's Working Mother of the Year last year.

The company's most recent achievement in Lincoln is making a vaccine for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, which has decimated baby pigs in recent years.   

Employing about 580 people in Lincoln, the company does research and produces vaccines and pharmaceuticals for livestock and companion animals. The local operation started in 1919 as Norden Laboratories and was acquired in 1960 by the company that became SmithKline Beecham and then Pfizer in 1995.

“Zoetis is a classic success story of a growing Nebraska business," Ricketts saidd. "Dr. Carl Norden, Sr., started his ethical drug firm in 1910 by selling to veterinarians. ... In order to Grow Nebraska, we need to continue to create environment where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive.”

The company is almost finished with a 19,000-square-foot, three-story expansion to the west end of its plant at 601 W. Cornhusker Highway. Initial production is going through validation with the Food and Drug Administration, the company said. The expansion will facilitate the full production, probably next year, of Synovex, an injectable growth hormone for beef cattle.

The mission of Bio Nebraska is to be the champion of biotechnology and to advocate for its member organizations, promoting academic, industry and government partnerships to foster the growth of life sciences within Nebraska.

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