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Catalan pharmaceutical company Grifols has announced a new expansion plan that earmarks €326 millions for investment in the company’s Bioscience division over the coming five years. The plan includes building four new production plants: two in Clayton (United States) for plasma fractionation and immunoglobulin purification, which will get €190 millions; one in Dublin (Ireland) to purify albumin, €76 millions; and one in Parets del Vallès, with €59 millions, to purify the alpha 1-antitripsina protein (Prolastin®).

The money invested in the Catalan plant will go towards equipment, as the building was constructed previously according to the plan approved in 2014 that foresaw the production of Prolastin®  –a protein used mainly to combat certain respiratory diseases– would peak in 2018. The plant in Parets is expected to begin operation in late 2017 or early 2018, as it is currently working on gaining authorization from the healthcare authorities: the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Early this year, there was some debate as to where the new plasma fractionation plant would be built, in Parets or Clayton, but in the end the company opted for the American city. The group justified this decision saying that 65% of its sales are on the North-American market, versus the 5% that the Spanish market makes up. Construction will begin this year or next on this plant, the one to purify immunoglobulin and the one in the Irish capital.

The group, in line with a plan approved last year, also expects to build a third blood-analysis laboratory, as well as opening 75 new plasma donation centers in the United States by 2021, to ensure the supply of plasma needed to manufacture the hemoderivative drugs the company sells. In the US it is legal to pay blood donors.

Grifols, present in more than 30 countries and with sales in more than 100, says construction of these four new plants aims to boost their capacity to produce drugs derived from plasma to meet the increase in demand expected through 2028-2030 and “ensure the company's long-term sustained growth.”


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