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Workforce + Innovation Make New Jersey a Perfect Fit for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

A Highly Specialized Workforce, Cutting Edge Innovation Make New Jersey a Perfect Fit for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

It should come as no surprise that biopharmaceutical companies from around the world are choosing to locate or expand their operations in New Jersey when it’s time to manufacture their medicines.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing in New Jersey began more than 100 years ago and continues to be one of our State’s greatest strengths. More than 260 biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities operate in New Jersey. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Allergan, Merck & Co. and Lilly all have manufacturing operations here. These global leaders and others produce everything from generic drugs to innovative next-generation medicines in our State.

Novartis is manufacturing its new CAR-T treatment, Kymriah, at its facility in Morris Plains, New Jersey for more than 250 patients in 11 countries worldwide. The breakthrough medicine, which is made of re-engineered cells collected from each patient and infused back into the patient to attack cancer, was the first ever to receive FDA approval for a CAR-T therapy for the treatment of children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The company plans to advance its manufacturing expertise in CAR-T in New Jersey.

That is why when the leadership of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Switzerland, made the decision to bring manufacturing to the U.S., it made sense to choose a New Jersey location. The State had everything it was looking for: proximity to major U.S. cities, world-class academic institutions – and most importantly, the opportunity to access our experienced, highly skilled workforce. A national leader in life sciences talent, New Jersey boasts the highest concentration of biopharmaceutical manufacturing expertise in the nation.

Ferring is not alone. In October (2017), MSN Pharmaceuticals purchased a 200,000-square-foot facility to house the company’s new U.S. R&D and manufacturing operations. The company is one of the fastest-growing manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients and doses in India. In the same month, Somerset Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures injectable and ophthalmic drugs, acquired a new facility in Somerset.

In September 2016, Advaxis unveiled a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and laboratory in Princeton to produce and develop novel immune-oncology therapy. A month earlier, India-based Aurobindo, broke ground for a 567,000-square-foot headquarters in East Windsor that will accommodate a manufacturing center for generic drugs.

In the last two years alone, drug makers ForDoz Pharma, Hovione, Lupin Limited, Teligent and HIPRA, a Spanish multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company focused on biologic and vaccine products, are among the companies that have announced they were expanding their manufacturing footprint in New Jersey or locating their operations here.

In fact, the number of pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing establishments in New Jersey grew by 10.7 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD), demonstrating that biopharmaceutical companies recognize the value of a New Jersey location for manufacturing their medicines.


New Jersey’s economy is 89 percent more concentrated in the biosciences than the national average and this high degree of specialization spans four of the five major industry subsectors—drugs and pharmaceuticals; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution, and medical devices.  No other U.S. state holds this distinction. New Jersey’s life sciences workforce reflects this specialization.

As home to the headquarters or major facilities of 13 of the top 20 world’s top biopharmaceutical companies, it should come as no surprise that New Jersey has a pool of specialized talent that understands and has experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Nearly 23,000 members of the life sciences cluster’s workforce of more than 117,000 are focused on pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, according to LWD. In fact, our State’s life sciences manufacturing labor pool is twice the size of other U.S. biopharmaceutical hubs.

This high concentration of talent gives companies the ability to recruit the workforce they require to ensure successful operations today, as well as the ability to grow in the future.  Whether companies are looking for Drug Development Scientists, Production Supervisors, Quality Specialists or Process Engineers, they will find the experienced talent they need here in New Jersey.


In addition to a highly specialized workforce with experience in in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, New Jersey’s rich legacy of innovation is attracting companies from around the world. Our State ranks in the top tier for innovation, patents issued and venture capital investments in bioscience-related companies. Bioscience patent activity in New Jersey has increased in recent years.

More than 7,000 bioscience-related patents were awarded to organizations with a New Jersey footprint from 2012 through 2015, with more than 1,850 of them awarded in 2015 alone. Additionally, 50 percent of FDA approvals in 2016 were awarded to companies with significant operations in New Jersey. This innovation extends to next-generation manufacturing.

As the biopharmaceutical industry looks for ways to reduce time to market, ensure consistent product quality and streamline regulatory approval, it has placed an increasing focus on the process technology used for manufacturing. It makes sense that New Jersey is once again on the forefront of innovation, pioneering the future of continuous manufacturing, a process publicly encouraged by the FDA to reduce the cost of drugs while ensuring their quality. The New Jersey Continuous Manufacturing Institute (NJCMI) is leading the way.

NJCMI is a joint venture between the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Combining state-of-the-art technologies, infrastructure, facilities and technical expertise, NJCMI is building on more than a decade of pioneering work in continuous manufacturing at the Rutgers Engineering Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (CSOPS).

CSOPS has led the way in advancing small molecule continuous manufacturing at its pilot facility at Rutgers and already has a track record of success. Janssen Biotech and CSOPS collaborated on the continuous production of Janssen’s HIV drug Prezista.  In April 2016, the FDA approved the switch from batch to continuous manufacturing – the first time the agency allowed such a change.

As the science of medicine evolves and new patient-centric drugs receive approval, global biopharmaceutical manufacturers choosing to locate and expand in New Jersey will have access to the specialized workforce, new technologies and knowledgeable partners to go boldly into a new era of bringing life-changing drugs to market.

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