Also, in 2006, Janssen (Titusville, NJ) completed a $70-million investment for a new fill-finish facility in Gurabo.
Push to biologics
To further support biotechnology investment on the island, Puerto Rico has several projects underway. In February 2008, the
$12.5-million Bioprocess Training and Development Center in Mayaguez will open. The facility will provide local companies
with training facilities and technical support. It includes 8600 ft2 of bioprocess research laboratories, microbial and mammalian cell culture suites, purification capabilities, and bioanalytical
and biochemical characterization laboratories. The center is funded by the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Pridco, and the US Department of Commerce.
In 2007, Pridco, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) broke ground on the Molecular Sciences Center. The $60-million, 120,000-ft2 facility (which includes 40,000 ft2 of laboratory space) will house research facilities and offer incubator space to biotechnology companies. The facility is
expected to be completed in mid-2009.
"The new facility will provide state-of the-art laboratory facilities and support top researchers in multiple disciplines
such as proteomics, nanotechnology, and the newer sciences," says Mirandes.
The government of Puerto Rico also is partnering with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to build the Puerto Rico Cancer Center. The facility will be a NIH-designated comprehensive cancer center
in Mayaguez and will support clinical research.
The Molecular Sciences Center, the BioProcess Training and Development Center, and the Puerto Rico Cancer Center are part
of a larger effort by Puerto Rico to attract research and development in the life sciences. The Puerto Rican government recently
launched the Knowledge Corridor, a 1000-acre region in San Juan that will house research centers, corporate offices, and trading
sites. The corridor is being developed by the Science and Technology Trust, a government-backed initiative created in 2004
with funding of $150 million to develop the site. The site, in its first phase, will include 400,000 ft2 of laboratory and research space and also will include infrastructure to support researchers and early-stage life science
ventures. The Knowledge Corridor will bring together several research facilities now under construction and the medical center
and medical science campus of the University of Puerto Rico. "The project provides infrastructure to attract companies, researchers,
start-ups, and established companies," says Mirandes. Construction of the site infrastructure is expected to begin in 2008
and be completed in five years.
Puerto Rico competes with other established areas for pharmaceutical manufacturing investment such as Singapore and Ireland.
And China and India, although still emerging areas for pharmaceutical investment, are a consideration for future development.
For more on this topic, see
Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Advances in Ireland
Singapore Attracts Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Investment