Alkermes adding 90 jobs at Ohio plant

Vivitrol
Dublin-base Alkermes intends to increase capacity and add nearly 100 jobs to the Ohio plant that manufactures its opioid abuse drug Vivitrol.

Dublin-based Alkermes has seen sales of its opioid abuse drug Vivitrol soar in recent years as communities have scrambled for ways to fight opioid addiction and the overdoses that come with it. Now the drugmaker intends to increase capacity of the drug's production and add nearly 100 jobs to the Ohio plant that manufactures it.

The expansion will add about $5.3 million in payroll, along with the 90 added jobs, to the Wilmington, Ohio, plant, according to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, reported the Dayton Business Journal. The authority has granted tax benefits for the project. The drugmaker has also agreed to maintain about 400 already working at the 280,000 square plant. A spokesperson could not be reached Monday.

Vivitrol is manufactured exclusively at the Wilmington plant. Approved 10 years ago, it had little success as a treatment for alcoholism but after being approved to treat opioid abuse, sales of the $1,300-a-month drug have grown significantly, up 53% last year to $144.4 million. The company has yet to report its Q4 or 2016 full-year's numbers, but in Q3, the company reported net sales of Vivitrol reached $55.8 million, up 47% from sales of $37.9 million in the same quarter of 2015.

Vivitrol is among drugs decided to keep when it made the decision in 2015 to narrow its focus. At the time, it sold a half dozen drugs and a manufacturing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, to  Pennsylvania-based Recro Pharma. Recro agreed to pay $50 million in cash and up to $120 million in milestone payments.