BMS building for biologics in Massachusetts

Bristol-Myers Squibb says that it plans to build a multi-product bulk biologics facility in Devens, Mass., with construction beginning this fall. The company hopes to have the facility operationally ready by 2009, with commercial production starting in 2011. In the neighborhood of 350 workers would be needed to staff the site, BMS said (contrary to earlier reports that suggested 550).

The site, which would handle large-scale manufacturing, would not affect biologics manufacturing at the BMS Syracuse, N.Y. facility, nor the finishing and packaging faciliy in Manati, P.R. Here's more:

(PRINCETON, NJ, June 1, 2006) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) announced today that the company intends to build a new large-scale multi-product bulk biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts, subject to final agreement between the company and the state. Construction is expected to begin by September 2006, and the facility is projected to be operationally complete in 2009. Commercial production of biologic compounds is anticipated to begin in 2011. Once operational, the site will require an initial workforce of approximately 350 employees. The facility will be modular in design in order to accommodate future expansion, which would lead to a total of approximately 550 employees at the site.

The new Devens manufacturing facility would support increased production capacity for commercially available bio logic compounds, such as ORENCIA® (abatacept), and biologic compounds currently in development, including the company’s investigational treatments for solid organ transplant rejection and certain types of cancers. The Devens site was selected after a thorough evaluation of potential domestic and international sites.

“Biologics offer tremendous potential in treating a number of serious diseases, and they will play a key role in driving our company’s future growth and success,” said Peter R. Dolan, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The investment in the Devens facility represents a significant commitment toward increasing manufacturing capacity so that we can meet future market demand and research production needs for the company’s biologic compounds.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb currently manufactures biologic compounds in a company-owned facility in Syracuse, NY, and finishes and packages biologic compounds in Manati, Puerto Rico. The Syracuse, NY site will remain a key component of the company’s biologics strategy serving as the center of excellence in process development and early product launch for the company’s biologic compounds. The facility was not designed to accommodate largescale commercial production, and its manufacturing capacity cannot meet expected market demand for ORENCIA. The Manati, Puerto Rico facility, which is also wholly-owned by the company, will continue to finish and package biologic compounds. In March, the company announced a $200 million investment to expand this facility to accommodate increased filling and finishing needs.

Bristol-Myers Squibb also has manufacturing agreements with third-party partners Lonza Biologics Inc. and Celltrion, Inc. A supplemental Biologics Licensing Application (sBLA) was recently approved for the production of ORENCIA at the Lonza manufacturing facility located in New Hampshire.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is excited about locating this facility in Massachusetts, and we look forward to collaborating with state and local government officials and residents to become a positive presence in the Devens community. While all of the potential sites we evaluated submitted excellent proposals, ultimately the Devens site best meets the criteria for the company's long-term manufacturing operations,” said Dolan. “Our existing biologic manufacturing sites in Syracuse and Puerto Rico are important components of the company’s overall biologics strategy, and this new facility represents a significant additional milestone as we look to our growing innovative biologics portfolio to further strengthen our presence in our disease areas of focus.”