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Abbott Laboratories (ABT) To Build Biotechnology Manufacturing Plant In Puerto Rico


- New Plant Ensures Long-Term Production Capacity for Biologic Products -

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced today plans to build an approximately $350 million biotechnology manufacturing plant in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. This plant, in addition to the company's recent biologics manufacturing expansion at the Abbott Bioresearch Center in Worcester, Mass., is part of the company's plan to ensure long-term production capacity for commercial biologic products. The first product to be manufactured at the new site will be HUMIRA(TM), also known as D2E7 (adalimumab), the investigational compound for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products. This new plant will add an additional 104 acres to the existing Abbott Puerto Rico Operations site.

"Abbott is pleased to build a biotechnology manufacturing plant in Barceloneta where we've had a successful and productive operation for years," said Lance B. Wyatt, senior vice president of Abbott's Specialty Products Division, who oversees the company's Puerto Rico operations. "With the addition of the new plant, the manufacturing site will continue using innovative technology to produce top-quality pharmaceutical products."

Construction on the new plant will begin immediately. The expansion will create more than 200 new jobs, and more than 800 temporary jobs will be created as a result of construction-related activities.

The new plant will use innovative biotechnology manufacturing and production technologies to produce multiple biologic products. The current biologic manufacturing and production capacity at Abbott Bioresearch Center in Worcester, Mass., is prepared to handle anticipated investigational and market demands for current products in development until the new plant is operational and approved for production. The Worcester facility, combined with the new plant in Puerto Rico, will manufacture future biologic products in Abbott's pipeline, and is part of the company's long-term strategy to ensure the ability to supply the market for biologic products. The new plant expands the pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities of Abbott Puerto Rico Operations to include biotechnology with the existing technologies of fermentation and chemical synthesis.

"This decision reflects upon the world-class capabilities of our Puerto Rico operations, and is a testimony to the talent and skill of our local work force," said Harry Rodriguez, divisional vice-president and general manager of Abbott Puerto Rico Operations. "We look forward to working with local educational organizations in the development and staffing of the new biologics plant."

Abbott Puerto Rico Operations currently employs more than 2,300 people in addition to a plant in Jayuya that employs 168 employees. Additionally, 200 employees work at the company's sales, distribution and marketing division in Carolina, Puerto Rico, serving the island and the Caribbean markets.

Abbott Laboratories is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals, and medical products, including devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 70,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com .
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