Bristol-Myers maps $250M manufacturing expansion to support growing R&D effort

Score another big win for Greater Boston's growing biotech hub. Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY)--which startled the industry earlier this week with its plans to transition in a new R&D chief--has blueprinted a $250 million expansion of its biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, near I-495. Bristol-Myers says it needs to add some biologics development and clinical trial manufacturing capacity for its R&D group, which will require hiring an added 350 workers.

Bristol-Myers outlined plans to build two new facilities on its 89-acre Devens campus totaling 200,000-square-feet. One will be dedicated to a group that "designs processes for early production of investigational biologics medicines." The second building will house clinical manufacturing operations, where investigational medicines will be made.

Devens' initial mission was focused on bulk biologics manufacturing. The new buildings are slated to be completed in 2015. In the meantime, the company said it had leased 30,000 square feet of added lab space in the area.

"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, BMS's president of global manufacturing and supply, in a statement. "This initiative is designed to accelerate the development of new biologics medicines through the closer alignment of biologics research and development, and manufacturing."

The move marks the latest in a long series of coups for Massachusetts, where state officials have reaped a big bounty as the biotech industry concentrates more and more of its operations in and around the vital global R&D hub. In this industry, success breeds success. And a region that built its hub around world-famous institutions like MIT and Harvard is benefiting now from a host of related activities.

- here's the press release

Special Report: Biopharma's Top R&D Spenders - 2012