Investment in Salt Lake City site will support near-term production needs and future manufacture of new products.

Watson Pharmaceuticals will invest about $44 million into the expansion of its Watson Laboratories site in Salt Lake City, which operates as the firm’s pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing facility for transdermal patches and topical gels.

The investment will involve both retrofitting existing space and constructing new manufacturing space, potentially tripling the annual manufacturing batch capacity at the site. Watson says this will support both the manufacture of new products, including a generic version of Lidoderm®  transdermal pain-management product, which could be launched by late 2012, and expansion of transdermal and topical gel products into select international markets.

“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,” comments Paul Bisaro, 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.”

Watson’s formal announcement of its investment in the Salt Lake City facility follows less than a month after it reported the €400 million acquisition of Greece-based generics firm Specifar Pharmaceuticals.

Watson reported net revenues of $3.57 billion in 2010. Over the course of 2010 the firm achieved seven U.S. generic product launches, and filed 34 generic ANDAs in the U.S., and another 145 globally. The firm has over 120 ANDAs pending.

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