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Life sciences company has an $87M impact on the Upstate


An orthopedic technology company in Anderson County has an economic impact on the Upstate estimated at $87.4 million annually.

Arthrex is nearing the end of construction of another building, a mirror of the original structure pictured here. (Photo/Provided)Arthrex impacted more than 20 million patients last year alone and launched an expansion of its operations in Anderson County in 2021 — a $100 million investment that created hundreds of jobs.

Founded in 1981, Arthrex is an international life science company in the orthopedic surgical device design, research, manufacturing and medical education field. The company develops and releases more than 1,000 products for surgical procedures each year to advance minimally invasive orthopedics worldwide.

Located at 130 Arthrex Drive in Pendleton, Arthrex’s expansion included adding a second manufacturing facility and an electron-beam (E-beam) and X-ray sterilizations facility. 

Arthrex is building three new facilities on its Pendleton campus: the first is a 210,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, which will be complete later this summer; the second is a 32,000-square-foot finishing facility, which will be complete in early 2024; and they are also building an early learning center for its employees’ children on the property, with construction expected to be complete in early 2024. 

Lisa Gardiner, Arthrex’s director of corporate communications, said Arthrex has more than 8,000 employees globally and nearly 1,000 of those are in South Carolina. Within the next five years, Arthrex is projected to add 1,700 jobs in Pendleton.

Gardiner said by helping surgeons, their patients, their communities, and each other is the company’s primary benchmark of success.

“Our research provides the scientific foundation and validation for the development of safe and effective, minimally invasive procedures,” said Gardiner. “Each product we produce impacts the lives of millions of patients. We are committed to making a positive contribution both to our communities and around the world.” 

As a privately held company, Arthrex is dedicated to advancing science, medicine and its mission of “helping surgeons treat their patients better.”

As an innovation leader in sports medicine and minimally invasive orthopedics, said Gardiner, Arthrex develops more than 1,000 new products and techniques annually. They are continually opening new subsidiaries around the world in addition to expanding its medical education programs that educate health care professionals on the safe and effective use of its products. As the demand for its products grows globally, so does the need to hire hundreds of new employees every year, she added.

“We are focused on product innovation, medical research, quality manufacturing and medical education and are proud to make products in America and export to more than 100 countries,” said Gardiner. “We educate surgeons around the world on the safe and effective use of our products, helping to make less invasive surgery simpler, safer and more reproducible.”

In addition to the nearly 1,000 people Arthrex employs in the area and making a global impact, they partner with local career centers in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, as well as Tri-County Technical College and Clemson University to provide everything from equipment to co-op, apprenticeship and other job training opportunities within the Upstate, said Gardiner.

Arthrex and its employees also partner with several nonprofit organizations within the community, including Habitat for Humanity, the Anderson Free Clinic, Meals on Wheels, the YMCA, and the Samaritan Health Clinic to provide support to surrounding communities.

As far as more innovations to come, Arthrex develops more than 1,000 new products and techniques annually, said Gardiner.

“We are continually innovating and looking for new ways to help surgeons treat their patients better,” she added.

The company, based in Florida, announced its initial plans for Anderson County in 2017, saying then that it would create 1,000 jobs at the site.

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.