GK CMO, a Puerto Rican contract manufacturing organization (CMO) recently inaugurated its manufacturing facility on the island. With the potential to manufacture advanced biologic and biosimilar products, the event could herald the beginning of a new era for Puerto Rican pharma manufacturing and was thus attended by two of the government’s top officials.
This inauguration event shows that Puerto Rico is open for business and is a true island of innovation
Ricardo Roselló, Governor of Puerto Rico
The island’s governor, Ricardo Roselló, and secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC), Manuel Laboy, were both present at the ceremony in Manatí, northern Puerto Rico. GK CMO’s investment in the plant, previously owned by TEVA, will total USD 18.9 million and the company hopes to generate 300 to 500 jobs in the next five years.
In her inauguration speech, GK CMO President and CEO Mayra L. Guzman-Kaslow highlighted the fact that GK is the first and only pharmaceutical and biotechnology company in Puerto Rico to have the technology and capacity to manufacture biologics, biosimilars, drug substances and solid drug products within the same facility. Additionally, GK is the first biopharmaceutical company in the USA and Puerto Rico to be founded and owned by ethnic minority women. Roselló noted that “GK CMO stands as a pioneer for equal opportunities in Puerto Rico.”
Secretary Laboy highlighted how the government’s efforts to find a new company to continue manufacturing at the Manatí plant have been successful. He noted that “GK CMO is an example of the kind of company that the government of Puerto Rico wants to promote. This will create a solid base of companies in the area of innovation with the ability to export their products and contribute to the growth of the island’s economy.”
Following Laboy, Governor Roselló thanked the four owners of GK CMO, Mayra Liz Guzman Kaslow, Maritza Gerena, Carla Marie Gallo and Cristina Pagán for their efforts in establishing a local pharmaceutical firm, and said that the company represented a Puerto Rican success story. “This inauguration event shows that Puerto Rico is open for business and is a true island of innovation, not only for technological innovation but also in terms of workforce,” said Roselló. He added that the company exemplifies Puerto Rico’s ambition to retain and attract talent from the island and other parts of the world and become an empowering state that gives opportunities to people and businesses.
GK CMO’s stated objective is to provide the highest quality product and development services, through the combination of experience, resources and solutions optimized for the life sciences. Governor Roselló concluded that the Puerto Rican government supports this stance and is putting its efforts into ensuring that the project will be successful.