Baxter International Inc. ( BAX Quick Quote BAX - Free Report) recently announced the expansion of its sterile fill/finish manufacturing facilities located in Bloomington, IN, which is being jointly funded by Baxter and client investment. Notably, the construction of the planned expansion of the existing facility infrastructure worth $50 million is expected to be completed in 2021. For investors’ note, the Bloomington facilities are operated by Baxter’s BioPharma Solutions business. The contract product manufacturing in the expanded facilities is expected to begin in 2022. Notably, the new facilities will support programs that are expected to create approximately 100 new jobs at the site along with jobs created due to construction. However, further details of the agreement have not been disclosed. With the recent site expansion activities, Baxter aims to strengthen its BioPharma Solutions business on a global scale. Rationale Behind the Expansion Per management, expansion of the Bloomington facility will add capacity and state-of-the-art technology that will enable the company to better serve the diverse needs of its clients and patients. For investors’ note, the Bloomington site currently manufactures life-saving products for approximately 25 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Further, the site has the capabilities and expertise in parenteral (injectable) delivery systems, and clinical and commercial vaccine manufacturing, including preventive and seasonal vaccines for global markets. Additionally, the facility offers a wide range of production and commercialization services and also houses the Lyophilization Center of Excellence (a resource center focused on the development of high-quality freeze drying). Industry Prospects Per a report by Markets And Markets, the global fill/finish manufacturing market is expected to grow from $7.5 billion in 2020 to $12.1 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 10%. Factors like technological advancements in fill/finish manufacturing processes, growth of the biopharmaceutical industry and the increasing adoption of prefilled syringes for parenteral dosage forms are expected to drive the market. Given the market potential, the site expansion is expected to significantly boost Baxter’s BioPharma Solutions business. Recent Developments Of late, Baxter has witnessed a series of developments across its businesses. The company received the FDA’s clearance of the Homechoice Claria automated peritoneal dialysis system with Sharesource connectivity platform this month. Baxter received the FDA’s clearance for new formulations of Clinimix (amino acids in dextrose) Injections and Clinimix E (amino acids with electrolytes in dextrose and calcium) injections in September. The same month, Baxter announced a distribution agreement with renowned in-vitro diagnostics player, bioMérieux, for the NEPHROCLEARTM CCL14 diagnostic test. In August, Baxter received the FDA’s approval for the De Novo application for Theranova, which is the company’s dialysis membrane. The same month, the company received an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) from the FDA for Regiocit, the company’s replacement solution containing citrate for regional citrate anticoagulation of the extracorporeal circuit. Also in the same month, Baxter received EUAs from the FDA for its HF20 Set and ST Set used in continuous renal replacement therapy. Price Performance Shares of the company have lost 7.2% in the past year against the industry and S&P 500’s 4% and 17.3% growth, respectively. Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider Currently, Baxter carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Hologic, Inc. ( HOLX Quick Quote HOLX - Free Report) , ResMed Inc. ( RMD Quick Quote RMD - Free Report) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ( TMO Quick Quote TMO - Free Report) . Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 17.4%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. ResMed’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14.5%. The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Thermo Fisher’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 18%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All Last year, it generated $24 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $77.6 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.
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