Baxter Healthcare of the US is planning a seven-year, $100 million (€85m) expansion of its parenteral contract manufacturing services for pharmaceutical and biotech companies with a 120,000-square-foot extension of its Baxter Pharmaceutical Solutions facility located in Bloomington, Indiana.
The investment will lead to additional syringe filling and vial filling lines, a lyophilisation suite, a new research lab and additional laboratories and administrative offices. 700 new jobs will be created at the facility, which already employs over 560 people. The initial phase of the facility is expected to open for registration batch production in 2005, leading to new client product launches in 2006.
Baxter says it will almost double its capacity in pre-filled syringes alone as a result of the project. In addition, the expansion will provide clinical and commercial manufacturing for insoluble formulation technology needs, a first for a Baxter facility. Approximately 50 per cent of new drugs in the development pipeline are insoluble, leading to the potential for sub-optimal formulations or many otherwise promising compounds never reaching the market due to formulation obstacles. The company has in-licensed a suite of drug delivery technologies to help overcome these problems.
Joel Tune, general manager of Baxter's Global Drug Delivery business said the move meant that the company could provide development/clinical services and commercial manufacturing all in one location. "We can reduce time in the pipeline for transfers between sites, while maintaining the technical knowledge gained throughout each phase to ensure robust processes are designed for ongoing commercial production," he added.
A key aspect of the investment is to help Baxter provide services for small- to medium-sized pharmaceutical and biotech companies, which the firm claims are set to bring 50 per cent of all new drug molecules to market in the next decade.
"Many of these companies do not possess internal manufacturing capabilities and are seeking long-term partners who can provide the manufacturing capacity and clinical expertise to help them bring new, life-saving drugs to market,, said Baxter.