OPELIKA, Ala., August 19, 2014 - Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) announced today that it plans to expand its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Opelika, Ala., to help address the growing global demand for dialyzers, a critical component used in hemodialysis therapy (HD).
Baxter will invest nearly $300 million in the Opelika site to add 230,000 square feet and several production lines. The company currently employs about 170 people at the facility, and anticipates it will begin the hiring process of the additional 200 workers in 2016 to support the expansion, which is when the first commercial production on the new lines is slated to begin.
"Baxter's expansion in Opelika will provide increased production of dialyzers, which are a critical component to the delivery of hemodialysis, a life-sustaining therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease," said Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter. "In addition to supporting a greater number of patients having access to therapy, the expansion is an investment in the communities where our employees live and work. The collaboration with Governor Robert Bentley, Mayor Gary Fuller and the many other local officials was a key component of our expansion plan."
Currently, there are nearly two million patients worldwide with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving HD therapy.1 A growing population with diabetes, blood pressure issues and other key causes of kidney disease, means the incidence rate of ESRD and the need for dialysis is also growing by an estimated six to seven percent annually around the world.1 For many patients with ESRD, HD therapy is performed to remove waste and excess fluids from the body by processing their blood through an artificial kidney (or the dialyzer). Clean blood is then returned to the body after the filtering process is complete.
Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.
This release includes forward-looking statements concerning Baxter's plans to expand capacity at its Opelika, Alabama, manufacturing facility, including expectations with respect to capital investment, job creation and commencement of production. The statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including the following, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: continued strength in Baxter's financial position, including cash flows; actions of regulatory bodies and other governmental authorities; satisfaction of regulatory and other requirements; product quality or patient safety issues; changes in laws and regulations; and other risks identified in Baxter's most recent filing on Form 10-K and other SEC filings, all of which are available on Baxter's website. Baxter does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.
Baxter is a trademark of Baxter International Inc.
1Anand S, Bitton A, Gaziano T (2013) The Gap between Estimated Incidence of End-Stage Renal Disease and Use of Therapy. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072860.