Less than four months after confirming plans to pick up the assets of the former Pfizer manufacturing plant in Caguas, Neolpharma officially inaugurated Tuesday its first operation on U.S. soil and the second established outside its native Mexico.
The company is part of a conglomerate that makes up one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Mexico, specializing in manufacturing therapeutic products for conditions related to the central nervous system, algology, cardiovascular and oncology.
Neolpharma has more than 200 generic products in the market and more than 140 products in the development stage, of which at least 22 have innovative components, said Efrén Ocampo-López, CEO of Neolpharma Group during an inauguration ceremony Tuesday that drew participation from high-ranking government officials.
Neolpharma Group presently exports to more than 10 countries in Latin America, he added.
“As we settle in Caguas, we thank this island for allowing us to be part of its excellent human resources, in addition to presenting a platform for future export to various countries, especially with this plant that has the awards and certifications necessary to do so,” Ocampo-López said. “Puerto Rico stands out in the world stage for having a first-rate infrastructure that has allowed it to develop itself in the pharmaceutical industry with world-class quality products.”
Neolpharma’s entrance into the Puerto Rico market is the result of a deal struck with Pfizer in October 2012 through which it acquired the latter’s assets at a 32-acre facility in Caguas. There were 130 workers at the plant at the time, whose jobs were spared and are now part of the plant’s payroll of 270 employees.
“Through this plant, we will be entering the U.S. market by maintaining the manufacturing of some of the products that were manufactured here before, while we start to transfer our pharmaceutical products in 2014,” Ocampo-López said. “We’re certain that we will grow in Puerto Rico and we anticipate great success in this plant.”
During the expedited negotiation process, the executive said Neolpharma found “great support” from government and private sector representatives, some of which were on hand Tuesday. Representing the government were Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company Executive Director Antonio Medina and Caguas Mayor William Miranda-Torres.
Neolpharma maintains alliances with some of the most important research centers in Mexico, including the National Institute of Neurobiology and Neurosurgery, the Biomedical Institute of the Autonomous University of Mexico and the National Cancer Institute, among others, as well as international entities such as the San Antoine Research Center of France and the French Institute for Health and Medical Research.