A Canadian biopharmaceutical company will become the first tenant of the South Carolina Research Authority's new building in the Nexton development in Summerville.

Aeterna Zentaris will occupy the third floor when SCRA's Applied Technologies Center is completed this fall. The company develops novel treatments for cancer and hormonal diseases.

The firm set up its North American business and global commercial operations in Charleston in early June and expects to create 60 jobs over the next few years.

It also has operations in Quebec City, Canada; and Frankfurt, Germany.

The company plans to establish strategic partnerships with the Medical University of South Carolina and other clinical and research centers in the area as part of its ongoing research and development activities. Its pipeline includes compounds at various stages of development.

During the next five years, Aeterna expects to expand its staff to support commercial operations, business development, regulatory and quality assurance, manufacturing management, clinical and product development, and various administrative functions.

"We are delighted to locate operations at the beautifully designed and easily accessible SCRA Applied Technologies Center," said company Chairman and CEO David Dodd, a Lowcountry resident who has led several biopharmaceutical ventures throughout his career. "We look forward to working with SCRA and contributing to the local economy."

SCRA plans to move into the new building in October. It is currently located on International Boulevard next to Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, but Boeing's expansion plans will take over the site.

Tenant companies will lease space in the new SCRA facility as it becomes available.

"SCRA is pleased to welcome Aeterna Zentaris to South Carolina," said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. "This outstanding company is developing life-changing technologies and will be a significant cog in South Carolina's Knowledge Economy."

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.