Generics-maker Blu Pharmaceuticals has opened a manufacturing facility in Dorado, Puerto Rico, to produce medicines for the U.S. government. The company is expected to invest $60 million in the facility, to be known as Blu Caribe Inc., during the next three years.
Blu Caribe expects to manufacture seven drugs in Puerto Rico, including anthrax antidote ciprofloxacin. The 145,000-square-foot FDA-approved facility was previously owned by Biovail. Blu held onto some former Biovailers, including plant managers. "We were able to acquire a state-of-the-art facility for pennies on the dollar of what it would have cost for us to build," says Blu president Bill Luster, in a local pres report. "We've successfully transferred technology to Puerto Rico in just three months, where it may have taken nine months elsewhere."
Puerto Rico is maintaining its solid-dosage manufacturing heritage and at the same time diversifying its life sciences presence into biopharmaceuticals and R&D efforts. Amgen, Eli Lilly and Abbott Labs maintain a presence there. The government is committed to developing the Puerto Rico Knowledge Based Corridor in San Juan, a combination of existing assets and new infrastructure for bioscience support services.