• Grifols opens $370 million plasma-making expansion in Johnston County

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    June 25, 2014
    Jason deBruyn
    Staff Writer- Triangle Business Journal

    Grifols, a producer of plasma-derived medicines, celebrated the grand opening of it's newest facility, an expansion at its current site on U.S. 70 east of Clayton.

    When fully operational, the facility will employ more than 200 and almost double its plasma production capacity to 6 million liters annually. Grifols products are used to treat rare, chronic diseases like neurological disorders, immune diseases and hemophilia. The company is headquartered in Catalonia, the province in Spain that includes Barcelona, and employs more than 13,200 worldwide, including 1,650 in Johnston County and 2,300 statewide. It also has a facility in Research Triangle Park.

    "We have always been focused toward the U.S." said Victor Grifols, company president and CEO and the grandson of its founder. Indeed the company employs 10,000 workers in the United States and has invested more than $7 billion here, making it the largest Spanish investor in this country. "For me to work in this country is easier than at home," said Grifols.

    Gov. Pat McCrory was on hand as well and touted the relationships established between the two countries and the company to expand pharmaceutical production. "The reliance on manufacturing here in North Carolina is very strong" he said. "We cannot live off the service sector alone."

    The 155,000 square-foot manufacturing facility represents a $370 million investment. Artur Mas, president of Catalonia, also attended the event, along with various other dignitaries from Spain, primarily from Catalonia. Now that the production facility has opened, the next step will be obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to begin making drugs. For now, Grifols workers will produce the plasma product for testing only. After a process that could take up to 10 months, Grifols will seek approval from the FDA to begin distributing the active drug in the market.

    Jason deBruyn covers The Biopharmaceutical and Health Care industries. Follow him on Twitter @jasondebruyn.
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