New York set to get another drug manufacturing project

For the second time in recent weeks, a drugmaker has said it will build a new manufacturing facility in New York and add at least 100 jobs in the process. But the jobs being added in Long Island still do not reach the number being cut by Novartis ($NVS) at a plant in nearby Suffern.

The most recent announcement comes from over-the-counter (OTC) drugmaker Spirit Pharmaceuticals. It says it will build a plant and add a warehouse and offices in Islip, just down the road from a project in Central Islip announced last month by InvaGen Pharmaceuticals.

Spirit's plan is for a new 75,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Islip, NY, Newsday reports. The $15 million project also includes relocating its offices and a warehouse project to another 55,000-square-foot rented facility, the newspaper said. The company will get about $2 million in tax breaks over 10 years in exchange for providing 147 jobs at its operations. The site of the new manufacturing facility falls within the city's foreign trade zone, which will allow it to pay lower customs charges on products it imports, Newsday said.

The company makes analgesics, laxatives, cough and cold medicines, and other products sold through retailers like Dollar Tree and Dollar General. In filings with the state, it said it had $17 million in revenues last year.

Last month generic drugmaker InvaGen Pharmaceuticals and co-owned AlphaMed Bottles announced plans to build two separate manufacturing facilities in Central Islip. The facility for InvaGen Pharmaceuticals will be a $37 million, 260,000-square-foot facility, while AlphaMed, which produces bottles for the pharmaceutical industry, will erect an 80,000-square-foot, $10 million facility. The two companies are currently based in Hauppauge, NY. The InvaGen project is slated to add 100 jobs to the 390 the company already has and the AlphaMed expansion is slated to add 10 jobs to the 15 it has.

But it has not all been expansion news for the pharma industry in New York lately. Swiss drugmaker Novartis has been slowly cutting back 525 jobs at a plant in nearby Suffern, NY, that manufactures Diovan, a heart medication that has been suffering sales declines since generic versions of the drug came out last year. The drugmaker has said it expects to close and then demolish the plant by 2016.

- here's the Newsday story