Sunday, December 15, 2019

Boehringer Ingelheim invests nearly $50M to expand Puerto Rico plant

By on November 13, 2019

Boehringer Ingelheim’s animal-health manufacturing site in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. (Courtesy)

Will create up to 105 more jobs in Barceloneta to make preventive care products for pets

SAN JUAN — Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading global provider of animal health products for pets and livestock, and Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy announced Wednesday a nearly $50 million expansion of the company’s manufacturing site in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico.

The investment will create up to 105 full-time jobs in three to five years, bringing full-time employment at the site as high as 322.

Laboy thanked Boehringer Ingelheim for its commitment to Puerto Rico and said expansion plans like Boehringer Ingelheim’s demonstrate that Puerto Rico is on track to continue attracting business and industry. The secretary noted that the pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico accounts for 29.9 percent of gross domestic product.

Everett Hoekstra, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., said the company is proud of its ties to the island.

“Our site in Puerto Rico is critical to meet growing demand for products that help protect pets from disease,” he said.

Based in Duluth, Ga., Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Health business in the United States has invested more than $220 million to expand sites in Georgia, Missouri and Puerto Rico in the last few years.

The Barceloneta plant has been in operation for 48 years.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Barceloneta site manufactures HEARTGARD Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), a “real beef chew that prevents heartworm disease in dogs and treats and controls hookworm and roundworm infections,” the company explained.

The $49.9 million expansion will let the site start manufacturing NexGard (afoxolaner), which is FDA-approved for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, and the treatment and control of tick infestations in dogs; it also is the only product that is FDA-approved for the prevention of Lyme infections as a direct result of killing vector ticks. The Barceloneta site already packages NexGard manufactured in Brazil for shipment to the U.S. mainland and Canada.

The company has contributed products worth $2.2 million as part of the Spayathon for Puerto Rico, a coalition of 26 groups organized by the Humane Society of the United States. Those groups have provided free spay or neuter and vaccination services to tens of thousands of animals.

In addition, the BI Cares Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization that operates out of Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. headquarters in Ridgefield, Connecticut, donated more than $150,000 to nonprofits that provided assistance in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017. The foundation donated medicine for people on the island, while the company’s animal health business donated products for animals.

This fall, Boehringer Ingelheim plans to donate the first of 60,000 doses of rabies vaccine and tens of thousands of dollars to fight rabies in Puerto Rico.

Boehringer Ingelheim is the second largest animal health business in the world, with net sales of almost $4.7 billion worldwide in 2018, about 10,000 employees and a presence in more than 150 markets. The company has pioneered advancements in vaccines, parasite-control products and therapeutics that limit pain and slow disease, and says its aim is to “create the future of animal wellbeing for pets, horses and livestock by focusing on prevention.”

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