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BMS to spend $250M to expand biologics facility, create 350 jobs

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is planning a $250 million expansion of its large-scale biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Mass. The expansion will introduce biologics development and clinical trial manufacturing capabilities to the site, while adding approximately 350 employees to the Devens workforce over time.

“Biologics are increasingly important in the treatment of serious diseases and are a growing part of our company’s pipeline of potential new therapies,” said Lou Schmukler, president of global manufacturing and supply, BMS. “This initiative is designed to accelerate the development of new biologics medicines through the closer alignment of biologics research, development and manufacturing.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to construct two new buildings on its 89-acre Devens campus. One will be dedicated to process development, a group that designs processes for early production of investigational biologics medicines. A second building will house clinical manufacturing, where investigational medicines will be produced to support clinical trials. Both represent new capabilities for Devens, a site that in its early years has focused solely on large-scale, bulk biologics manufacturing.

“This project represents a significant expansion in both the size and mission of Devens,” said Peter Moesta, senior vice president of biologics manufacturing and process development, BMS. “We envision Devens as a center of excellence for the development and manufacture of biologics medicines, optimally organized to support our growing pipeline of investigational medicines and potential new products.”

Together, the two buildings will add approximately 200,000 square feet of laboratory and office space to the Devens site, which is now comprised of six major buildings in a 400,000 square foot complex.

Construction of the Devens site was completed in 2009. It was Bristol-Myers Squibb’s first major facility in Massachusetts and the largest capital investment in its history—$750 million—and helped signal the company’s transformation into a next-generation biopharmaceutical company. The Devens site also was designed to accommodate future expansion, and the decision to expand reflects both the initial success of Devens and some of the factors that first drew Bristol-Myers Squibb to the region. These include the abundance of biotechnology knowledge, education and training in the Boston area, which has created a large and well-qualified workforce, as well as the inception of the state’s life sciences initiative.

Work on the expansion is expected to begin in late 2013 and be completed in 2015. In the interim, Bristol-Myers Squibb has leased 30,000 square feet of laboratory space in nearby Hopkinton, Mass., to begin moving some biologics process development functions closer to Devens during construction. The company intends to maintain this space until construction is completed.

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