Watson Pharmaceuticals has initiated a $44m (€31m) expansion of its Utah R&D and manufacturing plant for transdermal patches and topical gels.
Using the $44m Watson will retrofit 20,000 sq ft of existing space and add a further 17,000 sq ft of manufacturing capacity. Adding production capacity positions Watson to meet demand for its generic version of Lidoderm, due to launch in 2012, and other transdermal patches and topical gels in the portfolio and pipeline.
“This expansion not only supports our near-term product manufacturing and packaging needs, but also positions us to more efficiently meet anticipated future consumer demand for products that are currently in various stages of development”, said Paul Bisaro, president and CEO of Watson.
As well as launching new products, Watson also plans to introduce transdermal and topical drugs already produced at Salt Lake City, Utah “into select international markets”. To support these market expansions Watson is adding capacity that could allow it to triple annual manufacturing batch capacity.
At Salt Lake City, which is Watson's headquarters for global brands, 175 people work in product development and a further 200 are focused on manufacturing and operations. Over the next three to five years Watson plans to add 300 employees at the site.
“This expansion is more than just bricks and mortar. We are investing in the creation of skilled manufacturing, packaging and quality control and other jobs that will create opportunities for the population of Salt Lake City”, said Bisaro.
Expansion of the Salt Lake City follows the decision to make the Watson site in Parsippany, New Jersey the company's corporate headquarters. Before the decision the corporate headquarters was located in Corona, California.