Watson Pharmaceuticals to Expand Salt Lake City Manufacturing Plant

Company expects to add 300 people at the site.

Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. earlier this week said it will spend $44 million to expand its R&D and manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City.

The Watson Laboratories Inc. site supports the company's transdermal patches and topical gels.

As part of the expansion, the company will retrofit approximately 20,000 square feet of existing space and build approximately 17,000 square feet of future manufacturing space.

The Parsippany, N.J.-based company said it expects to add 300 employees at the site within the next three to five years.

Thanks to the expansion, Watson will be able to triple its annual batch capacity to support future new products, including the generic version of the Lidoderm transdermal pain-management product, which the company may launch in mid to late 2012, the company said.

It also will support Watson's expansion of transdermal and topical-gel products manufactured in Salt Lake City into select international markets.

'More Than Just Bricks and Mortar'

"We are committed to expanding our presence in Salt Lake City, which is our center of excellence for the manufacture of brand and generic pharmaceutical products that utilize topical or transdermal-patch drug-delivery technologies," said Paul Bisaro, Watson's president and CEO. "This expansion not only supports our near-term product manufacturing and packaging needs, but also positions us to more efficiently meet anticipated future consumer demand for products that are currently in various stages of development.

"This expansion is more than just bricks and mortar. We are investing in the creation of skilled manufacturing, packaging and quality-control/quality-assurance and other jobs that will create opportunities for the population of Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas."

Watson's Salt Lake City facility is the headquarters for the company's Global Brands research and development operations, with approximately 175 professionals involved in product development.

In addition, the Salt Lake City facility manufactures and packages brand and generic transdermal-patch and topical-gel pharmaceutical products, and employs more than 200 people in manufacturing and operations.

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