Area Development
Biopharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is investing $165 million on expansion of its facility in Humacao, Puerto Rico, to add manufacturing capacity that will prepare the plant production of additional medicines that treat diabetes and heart disease. The expansion is expected to create 100 full-time jobs.

The project will also introduce a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing technology to Puerto Rico that includes a process called "active coating." Invented by Bristol-Myers Squibb, it delivers the active ingredient into the coating of a tablet.

"This significant investment in our Humacao facility supports the company's mission of delivering innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases," said Ricardo Zayas, senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Puerto Rico's highly skilled workforce has contributed significantly to our existing operation and plays an important role in our company's future growth."

The project on the 48.5-acre Humacao campus includes both renovation and new construction encompassing a total of 165,150 square feet, the firm said. One phase will add 82,000 square feet of new manufacturing space for the planned production of medicines for type 2 diabetes. A second phase involves renovating 83,150 square feet of existing space and equipping it to manufacture new cardiovascular medications. Construction is expected to begin late this year and be completed in early 2016. These positions include process engineers and operators, scientists, technicians and other skilled workers, and will be phased in as part of a multi-year plan to add manufacturing capacity to meet patient needs.

The Humacao expansion is the company's second major investment in Puerto Rico in recent years. In 2009, Bristol-Myers Squibb completed a $200 million project to expand its site in Manati, Puerto Rico, to support the manufacture of biologic medicines. While tax incentives offered the firm were not immediately available, the island can offer tax breaks for new manufacturing and investing in research and development facilities.