BMS puts a $250-million chip on expanded biotech capabilities in Devens, MA

Expansion will enable more process development and clinical-trials manufacturing, add 350 employees

The Devens, MA facility of Bristol-Myers Squibb was a $750-million trophy win for the state of Massachusetts back in 2009, when the state provided resources to convert an old military base to commercial use. Now, an additional $250 million is being committed to the site, adding 200,000 sq. ft of constructed space to the existing 400,000 sq. ft. BMS says that two new buildings will be constructed, one for developing manufacturing processes for investigational biologics, and another for clinical-scale production of those investigational products. The primary activity at the site currently is bulk production, especially for Orencia (abatacept), BMS’ rheumatoid arthritis product.

“Biologics are increasingly important in the treatment of serious diseases and are a growing part of our company’s pipeline of potential new therapies,” said Lou Schmukler, president, Global Manufacturing & Supply. “This initiative is designed to accelerate the development of new biologics medicines through the closer alignment of biologics research and development, and manufacturing.”

The Devens site is about 40 miles northeast of Boston; BMS says that the availability of educational resources, trained workers and the state’s Life Sciences initiative have been factors in the site selection.