PUERTO RICO ELEVATES ROLE AS A GLOBAL BIOSCIENCE R&D AND MANUFACTURING HUB
In line with its mission of promoting investment and economic development in the Island, economic development organization Invest Puerto Rico has revealed two major successes for its bioscience sector.
CytoImmune Therapeutics, Inc. and Biosimilar Solutions, LLC, each committed to establishing operations on the Island to develop their biotechnology products. www.investpr.org
The relocations are a result of InvestPR's strategic plan with support from BiosciencesCorp Puerto Rico for strengthening Puerto Rico's bioscience sector. Puerto Rico has a storied past spanning six decades of excellence. Eli Lilly opened its first plant on the Island in 1960. The majority of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, including Abbvie, Abbott Laboratories, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and Wyeth operate facilities in Puerto Rico. The Island, which boasts a staggering $50 billion+ in specific annual pharmaceutical industry production, has 100+ FDA-approved pharmaceutical and bioscience plants, and is the U.S.'s largest pharmaceutical manufacturing region.
Biosimilar's innovations are focused on biotech products including a COVID-19 vaccine, while CytoImmune Therapeutics specializes in cancer immunotherapy treatments.
"This announcement is a clear indication that Puerto Rico's business ecosystem is primed to support bioscience innovation, advanced manufacturing, and distribution on a global scale. It also shows that this sector is crucial to the Island's path to economic transformation since biotechnology start-ups can provide hundreds of jobs upon a successful FDA approval. We proudly welcome CytoImmune and Biosimilar to Puerto Rico and reiterate our commitment to helping them ensure success and a healthy ROI," said Rodrick Miller, CEO of InvestPR.
Leveraging Puerto Rico's incentives and other assets to set up operations, both companies will perform novel biologics and cell therapy R&D. Both initiatives represent a combined initial investment of $228 million and the creation of 400 jobs.
Governor of Puerto Rico Pedro R. Pierluisi said: "Once again Puerto Rico demonstrates that we have the talent, resources, and capabilities of a global leader in manufacturing in the Bioscience sector. An increasing number of companies are leveraging the Island's value proposition to boost their operations, which in turn leads to increased private investment, job creation, and a positive return on investment for all. Furthermore, Puerto Rico is ready to serve our nation by providing a proven ecosystem for reshoring to bring back manufacturing to U.S. soil and our critical supply chain."
Biosimilar Sciences will establish a state-of-the-art biotech facility in Aguadilla with a $200 million investment in machinery and equipment. It will develop a series of biosimilar products, including a COVID-19 vaccine, new cell and gene therapy, biologics, clinical studies, and other recombinant biotechnologies. Biosimilar's current product portfolio has an approximate market value of $30 billion.
CytoImmune will settle in Toa Baja with a total $28 million investment including machinery and equipment and expects to hire up to 100 highly remunerated professionals. The company will develop and market novel cancer immunotherapy products that use the patient's immunity to eliminate cancer cells. Cytolmmune currently develops proprietary Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) engineered T cells (CAR-T) technology, as well as an approach for human natural killer (NK) cell immunotherapy that involves a CAR NK cell.
"We are excited to get to work in Puerto Rico, which supports our mission to make biologics affordable, accessible, and with uncompromising quality. There is no doubt about the Island's capabilities in the bioscience sector and we look forward to doing great things that help save lives. All of the stakeholders in Puerto Rico who helped make our presence here possible have been supportive, a reflection of the Island's commitment to performing on the highest level in terms of life science manufacturing and business development," said Robert Salcedo, cofounder and CEO of BioSimilar.
Rich Santulli, CytoImmune Chairman and CEO noted, "Puerto Rico has a proven history in the life science sector and a deep talent pool. It is plain to see that the environment in Puerto Rico is ideal for the development of our immunotherapies.
"Puerto Rico's Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Manuel Cidre Miranda, reiterated: "Puerto Rico continues to make significant progress in its path to economic transformation. We continue to build on our legacy in the bioscience sector by attracting top-tier manufacturers that are innovating on a large scale. Our value proposition supports the activities of all types of companies, enabling them with our human capital, infrastructure and great business climate."