BARCELONA, Spain, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Grifols (MCE:GRF, MCE:GRF.P and NASDAQ: GRFS), a leader in the production of plasma-derived medicines, celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art North Fractionation Facility (NFF) in Clayton, NC, where production capacity of plasma will almost double to approximately 6 million liters annually. Grifols' products are used to treat rare, chronic diseases such as a neurological disorder, immune deficiencies, hemophilia and genetic emphysema.
NFF will be fully operational in 2015 with over 200 employees. Grifols is the largest private employer in Johnston County, NC with 1,650 employees and a total of 2,300 statewide, including a corporate office in Research Triangle Park, NC. Grifols also has a corporate office and manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles, CA, testing labs in San Marcos and Austin, TX and 150 plasma donation centers across the United States. Additionally, the company has manufacturing facilities in San Francisco, CA producing antigens for immunological diagnostics, as well as the Grifols Academy of Plasmapheresis, a world-class education and training facility headquartered in Glendale, AZ. In total, Grifols employs over 9,600 people in the US, representing approximately 73% of its 13,200 employees worldwide.
"As a leading healthcare company, one of Grifols' main goals since being founded in the 1940's has been to advance the plasma industry. Today, I take great pride in our pioneering spirit that has allowed us to build the world's largest and one of the most innovative plants producing plasma medicines. The donors who make our life-saving therapies possible, along with all Grifols employees, share my passion for the patients that we continue to serve," said Victor Grifols, President and CEO of Grifols.
In addition, Mr. Grifols remarked that "choosing North Carolina for this facility is not a coincidence by any means. The US has always represented one of our most important markets, both past and present. Our investment of more than $7 billion since 2001 in this country demonstrates our long-term commitment to growth."
"It is my pleasure to congratulate Grifols on the grand opening of its new plasma fractionation facility in Clayton," said Congressman Mike McIntyre. "This state-of-the-art plant is the largest of its kind in the world and represents a strong $370 million investment in Johnston County. The 200 employees who will work at the facility when fully operational will help ensure the availability of life-saving plasma-derived medicines for patients around the world. Grifols' 2,300 employees across North Carolina are a testament to the company's well-established commitment to our state."
NFF was recently named the 2014 Facility of the Year for Project Execution by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). The 155,000 square-foot facility features technologically advanced systems and processes to ensure the highest standards of product quality and high production capacity in plasma fractionation.
Fractionation is the first step in the production of plasma-derived therapies, which involves subjecting plasma to various changes of temperature and chemical conditions, causing each of the proteins with therapeutic properties to separate out. These proteins have to be purified and formulated before they can be used as medicines. The medicines manufactured by Grifols from plasma include immunoglobulin, for the treatment of primary immune deficiency and a neurological disorder called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), factor VIII, for the treatment of hemophilia A, albumin, to re-establish and maintain blood volume and alpha-1 antitrypsin for the treatment of genetic emphysema.
The facility opening was attended by state, national and international dignitaries, as well as Grifols executive management and North Carolina employees. Grifols President and CEO Victor Grifols and Greg Rich, CEO of Grifols Inc., accompanied guests on a tour of the new facility, which included the President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas; Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina; Jody L. McLeod, Mayor of Clayton, NC; His Excellency Ramon Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador to the United States; and Sergi Mingote, Mayor of Parets del Vallès, Barcelona, where Grifols has one of its three manufacturing plants for plasma fractionation.
Grifols will allocate more than 600 million Euros to manufacturing facilities between 2014 and 2016
Grifols' presence in the United States is consolidated. Actually, sales in North America totaled €1,708 million in 2013, representing 62.3% of the turnover of the company.
In addition, the US is one of the main recipient countries of Grifols' investments. Since 2001, the company has invested more than $7 billion in the US, including both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and strategic acquisitions that have resulted in the company accounting for approximately 20% of the global plasma therapies market, in addition to leading other complementary business areas, such as transfusion medicine.
The $370 million invested in NFF at its Clayton facility is included in the Capital Investment Plan (CAPEX) for the period 2012-2014. In addition, organic growth continues and new investments are planned to expand and increase Grifols' production facilities in both Spain and the United States. In fact, Grifols plans to allocate approximately €600 million to capital expenditures between 2014 and 2016.
A substantial portion of the investment plan will go towards the expansion of the albumin purification plants in Los Angeles, CA and Clayton, NC, and also towards a new warehouse at Clayton´s complex, while construction of the new alpha-1 antitrypsin purification area in the Parets del Vallès (Barcelona) complex is one of the much highlighted projects in Spain.
Grifols is a global healthcare company with a 70-year legacy of improving people's health and well being through the development of life-saving plasma medicines, diagnostics systems, and hospital pharmacy products.
The company is present in more than 100 countries worldwide and is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. Grifols is a leader in plasma collection with a network of 150 plasma donor centers in the U.S., and a leading producer of plasma-derived biological medicines. The company also provides a comprehensive range of transfusion medicine, hemostasis, and immunoassay solutions for clinical laboratories, blood banks and transfusion centers, and is a recognized leader in transfusion medicine.
In 2013, sales exceeded 2,740 million euros with a headcount of 13,200 employees. Grifols demonstrates its commitment to advancing healthcare by allocating a significant portion of its annual income to R&D.
The company's class A shares are listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange, where they are part of the Ibex-35 (MCE:GRF). Its non-voting class B shares are listed on the Mercado Continuo (MCE:GRF.P) and on the U.S. NASDAQ via ADRs (NASDAQ: GRFS). For more information on Grifols and its facilities, please visit www.grifols.com.
 Source: Market Research Bureau (MRB) - The Worldwide Plasma Proteins Market 2012