Medical major Baxter International Inc. is expanding its Mountain Home, Ark., medical device plant.
Baxter will add 25,000 square feet and undisclosed equipment at the operation, spokeswoman Deborah Spak stated in an email correspondence. She did not disclose the cost of the project, due for completion in mid-2015.
The Mountain Home factory, one of the largest in Baxter's medical products division, currently has 550,000 square feet and employs about 900. When the expansion is done, employment will rise by about a dozen. The facility has been a medical-oriented operation since 1964.
Spak noted the Mountain Home expansion is typical of Baxter's frequent upgrades and expansions to “ensure that we are operating in a manner that delivers high quality products as well as efficiency and responsiveness to customer demands.” She did not disclose the types of medical devices made in the Arkansas plant. The medical products unit's applications include intravenous equipment and nutrition products, drug reconstitution systems, infusion pumps and inhalation anesthetics.
In late summer, Baxter announced an expansion at its Opelika, Ala., manufacturing location that will cost $300 million. The project is focused on boosting production capacity for dialyzers, a component for hemodialysis therapy needed by patients with kidney failure. The unit, part of Baxter's medical products division, will add more injection molding equipment and more than double staff levels currently at about 170. Baxter is targeting project completion in 2016.
Baxter recently announced it will form a new global research and development center in Cambridge, Mass., for its biopharmaceuticals division. The division is now based at Baxter's Deerfield, Ill., headquarters.
In mid-2015 Baxter will separate the biopharmaceuticals business from its medical products division and call it Baxalta Inc. The company chose Cambridge because the surrounding area has a vibrant biotechnology community. Baxter will lease a 200,000 square foot building and employ about 400 there. The division develops products for hematology, immunology, oncology, gene therapy and biologically similar technology platforms.