Baxter's CDMO arm will add 100 new positions in $50M fill-finish expansion of Indiana plant

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Baxter's new fill-finish technology is expected to go online in 2021. (Pixabay)(Pixabay/Free-Photos)

In recent months, the contract manufacturing market has seen a wave of investment in the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a call for "onshore" drug production. Now, Baxter's CDMO arm is stepping up to the plate with a finishing technology expansion at its Indiana site.

Baxter Biopharma Solutions, the CDMO arm of healthcare giant Baxter, will shell out $50 million in an expansion to its fill-finish manufacturing plant in Bloomington, Indiana, that will eventually bring 100 new positions on board, the company said Tuesday.

The expansion will add a 25,000-square-foot warehouse; a new filling line for flexible plastic containers; a high-speed automated syringe fill line capable of filling up to 600 units per minute; and a new high-speed, automated visual inspection line, Baxter said.

Construction has already begun and is expected to be completed in 2021, Baxter said. The CDMO will then begin taking on contracts in 2022.

The Bloomington site handles clinical and commercial manufacturing for drugs from roughly 25 biopharma companies, Baxter said in a release.

RELATED: Baxter bags India's Claris to further beef up sterile injectables biz

Baxter and its CDMO arm have had a relatively quiet past few years for a multibillion-dollar global enterprise.

Back in 2016, the firm agreed to buy sterile injectables specialist Claris Lifesciences for $625 million, which added three manufacturing facilities, 11 drugs approved in the U.S. and a pipeline of other products. Baxter said the addition of the Indian drugmaker would allow the combined company to launch seven to nine new products a year in the short term and up to 15 products a year after 2019.

In early 2017, the company settled federal claims that it distributed “adulterated” sterile injectables products from a legacy manufacturing site plagued by mold and paid $16 million in penalties and forfeiture as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. It also agreed to regularly report on improvements made to its manufacturing operations.