Baxter Plasma Treatment Manufacturing Facility, Georgia, United States of America
Baxter International announced plans to set up a manufacturing centre in the US for plasma-based treatments, in April 2012. It has selected a site for the proposed facility in the city of Covington, Newton County, in the state of Georgia. The company plans to invest more than $1bn on the new facility during the coming five years.
The facility will help Baxter in meeting the needs of patients worldwide who are dependent on the company's plasma-based therapies.
The planned investment will create approximately 1,500 full-time jobs in the state. It will also result in the creation of about 2,000 direct and indirect jobs. The plant will begin commercial production in 2018. It will recruit full time staff from 2014.
A biotech training centre announced by Georgia Quick Start, a customised workforce training programme, will provide technically trained workforce to Baxter, as well as other biopharmaceutical companies in the state.
Drugs produced at the Covington facility
The facility's focus will be on the manufacture of products related to immunoglobulin therapy and albumin, a protein commonly found in animal tissues and liquids.
Immunoglobulin therapy is offered to patients with immune deficiencies. Patients who require critical care or those facing trauma or burns are principally treated with albumin products. Albumin therapy helps to maintain fluid levels in critically ill patients.
Details of Baxter's plasma-based treatment complex
The site for the new facility is located in Stanton Springs, a business park spread across four counties, namely Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton. Baxter plans to acquire 160 acres for the project, in the business park.
The site is strategically located in the I-20 corridor, which provides quick access to road transport. It is also close to a number of plasma collection centres in the US.
The new plant will have facilities to support development of plasma-based treatments. The facilities will support plasma fractionation, purification and fill-finish operations for biologic medications of Baxter. There will also be a testing laboratory. The fractionation facility will have up to three million litres capacity per annum.
In addition, there will be separate buildings for warehousing, utilities and administration.
Baxter will commence construction on the new facility in 2012. The company is yet to choose construction partners for building the facility.
Phased development of the Georgia-based facility
Baxter BioPharma Solutions is a contract manufacturer of pre-filled syringes, vials and cartridges for the packaging of vaccines and drugs.
Baxter plans to develop the Covington site in a phased manner. The current development forms part of the initial phase of the project. The gross built-up area in the initial phase will be one million square feet.
The later phases will expand the facility, depending upon the demand for the manufactured products. The facility will be, therefore, designed with flexibility to expand the infrastructure when the global market needs mean an expansion is required.
The construction of Covington facility also calls for the expansion of the existing filling and finishing capacity at Baxter's manufacturing facility in Round Lake, Illinois.
The associated expansion will result in the creation of about 200 more jobs. It will include addition of production capacity for the company's plasma-based albumin treatment known as Flexbumin, which is offered in a flexible container.
Baxter's licensed immunoglobulin treatments
The licensed immunoglobulin therapy currently marketed by the company in the US and Canada is the Gammagard Liquid. It is marketed under the name Kiovig outside the US and Canada. It is used to treat patients with primary immunodeficiency.
The US FDA has also approved Gammagard Liquid 10% for the treatment of multifocal motor neuropathy making it the first immunoglobulin treatment to be approved for that indication. In addition, the company provides blood protein therapies for alpha-1 antitrypsin-deficient patients.
Headquarters and marketing commentary
Headquartered at Deerfield, Illinois, Baxter is a diversified conglomerate which is engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of healthcare products.
The product portfolio of the company includes treatments aimed at curing haemophilia, cancer, trauma and diseases related to kidneys and acute medical conditions.
Its areas of expertise include medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
The company has been a leading developer of innovative plasma-derived therapies.
Its focus is on unmet needs of patients requiring these therapies for a long time.