Monday, April 4, 2016
Monday, April 4, 2016
PharmaChem Technologies broke ground on its $120 million multi-product manufacturing plant March 31 in a ceremony which saw government officials and industrial sector executives heralding significant growth of industrial and economic development on Grand Bahama.
Scheduled for a construction period of two and a half years, the expansion project is anticipated to involve over 100 local contractors and expand the PharmaChem staff from its current 120 personnel to 220 employees.
The multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant is the product of a partnership between PharmaChem and California-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Incorporated. Once completed, the three-storey facility – projected to span the size of a football field – will provide active pharmaceutical ingredients to support Gilead’s expanding line of products.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said the partnership is evidence of Grand Bahama’s viability as a home for international industrial companies.
“I join in the hope that for decades to come international and innovative companies such as PharmaChem Technologies Ltd, which is domiciled in Grand Bahama, would continue to choose this destination for the reason that they will be operating within a business and regulatory environment that has met all known international standards of best practice,” Prime Minister Christie said.
He expressed optimism for the facility’s impact on Grand Bahama’s economy and employment levels, noting that the $120 million dollar investment would create a need for additional jobs for contractors and Bahamians interested in science fields.
PharmaChem president Pietro Stefanutti noted that PharmaChem and Gilead have been collaborating on the project for the past two years and eagerly anticipate unveiling the manufacturing plant, which will play a critical role in providing treatments for life-threatening diseases.
“The time has come again to take another step in ensuring that PharmaChem is a viable and sustainable operation in Freeport for years to come,” Stefanutti said during the ceremony. “Today, we are breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art multiproduct facility that will support Gilead’s new pipeline of life-saving drugs. It has been jointly designed by Gilead and PharmaChem and it’s a testament of the strong relationship that we have with Gilead and all others within their management.”
Gilead senior vice president of chemical and biologics operations Dr Regan Shea said PharmaChem, through its existing facility, was a major factor in Gilead’s ability to provide medication to 950,000 HIV patients worldwide last year alone.
“We hope the addition of the new facility will significantly increase PharmaChem’s contribution to The Bahamas’ growing life sciences industry and local economy,” Dr Shea said. “Through increased job creation and research and development into new areas of unmet medical needs, the new site will be much more flexible giving us the opportunity work on products large and small, as well as to take on new project and new technology.”
Construction on the project will commence just at the rear of the PharmaChem’s existing facility on West Sunrise Highway. The new manufacturing facility is scheduled for unveiling in early 2019.