New Bristol-Myers biologics plant promises 400 jobs for Ireland

With drugs like Yervoy and Sprycel leading its comeback and a pipeline filling up with more biologics, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) needs someplace to make them, and Ireland will get the prize--an investment of nearly $1 billion and the 400 jobs that will come with it.

Bristol-Myers said today that it will build a $900 million plant in Dublin that it expects to have operational in 2019. The 320,000-square-foot facility will be built on the site where BMS has a bulk manufacturing plant and will be used to manufacture any number of biologic drugs currently being developed which the New York-based drugmaker expects to get approved. The company compared the project to its expansion of a biologics operations in Devens, MA.

Lamberto Andreotti

Biologics make up more than half of the drugs that Bristol-Myers has under development. "Our investment in this new facility reflects the strength of our business and the increasingly important role that biologic medicines will play in Bristol-Myers Squibb's future," BMS CEO Lamberto Andreotti, said in a statement.

Despite a 4% contraction in its revenue in its third quarter, Bristol-Myers beat analysts estimates for both its top line and and earnings per share. That was powered to a large extent by sales of biologic drugs, cancer fighters Yervoy, which jumped 47% to $350 million, and Sprycel, which enjoyed 22% growth to $385 million, and injectable rheumatoid arthritis drug Orencia, which saw an 18% jump to $444 million.

Orencia is manufactured at the plant in Devens, the 400,000-square-foot, 6-building complex for manufacturing biologics that opened in 2012. Bristol-Myers has more than 300 employees working there.

Large molecule biologic drugs are making up a heftier proportion of big pharma portfolios and are requiring big investments by drugmakers around the world to prepare for production. Roche ($RHHBY) last year launched a $900 million three-plant expansion project, starting in on a new facility in Switzerland and expansions in the U.S. and Germany to get ahead of its biologics capacity needs. It expects to add 500 jobs as a result of those projects.

- here's the release

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