Grifols doubles capacity with new U.S. plasma fractionation plant

Grifols plans to upgrade its plasma fractionation plant in Clayton, NC--Courtesy of Grifols

Grifols, the Spain-based specialist in blood plasma products, has opened a new plasma fractionation plant in the U.S. and says it has more plans, and money, for additional upgrades to its manufacturing network.

The $370 million, 155,000-square-foot facility in Clayton, NC, will be fully operational in 2015, at which point the maker of plasma-derived medicines expects to have 200 employees working there. The new facility will nearly double the site's capacity to 6 million liters from about 3.2 million today, the company said. It is the second new fractionation plant Grifols has opened recently, having kicked off production at a 48,400-square-foot fractionation plant in Barcelona in April.

The company said the proteins made from the plasma are used in products, including immunoglobulin, for treating conditions like primary immune deficiency, and factor VIII, for the treatment of hemophilia A. More than 60% of Grifols' business comes from North America, where it had sales of about €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) last year.

The company said it expects to spend another €600 million on capital investments worldwide through 2016, including expansion of albumin purification plants in Clayton and Los Angeles, as well as a new warehouse in Clayton. The company also has a production facility in San Francisco that produces antigens for immunological diagnostics. The company has a growing diagnostic business and last year agreed to pay $1.7 billion for Novartis' ($NVS) blood diagnostics operations.

Grifols is not the only company that has been working on a new fractionation facility in the U.S. In 2012, Baxter International ($BAX) committed more than $1 billion to a new facility in Covington, GA, that is slated to be operating by 2018.

- here's the announcement