Bristol Myers building manufacturing plant in Devens

Bristol drug giant Myers Squibb has begun construction on a 244,000-square-foot cell treatment manufacturing plant in Devens, as part of its extensive campus there. The plant, which will employ hundreds of people in cell development and manufacturing, should be completed later this year and operational by 2023.

This is the latest in a series of drug plants in the works in the region as pharmaceutical companies aim to bring complex biological drugs relatively close to their research facilities in Cambridge. and Boston. Nearby in Devens, developer King Street Properties is launching a five-acre site on 45 acres. It was the first large bio-manufacturing plant in the area to begin construction on “spec,” or without tenants. Most such plants are raised by drug manufacturers themselves, with a specific product in mind.

Such is the case for Bristol Myers Squibb, who received approval earlier this month from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a cell therapy for lymphoma called Breyanzi. The new center will be equipped to do just that and other commercial and clinical treatments.

“Bristol Myers Squibb is at the forefront of manufacturing innovation, and we are proud to have many of the latest next-generation technologies and integrated digital systems in our new cellular treatment plant in the Boston area,” said Ann Lee, is in charge of the development of cell therapy and operations for the company.

The New York-based drugmaker is also working on a new office at Cambridge Crossing, just north of Kendall Square in East Cambridge, which will have research and development activities currently divided over two facility in Kendall. That office is on track to open in 2023.

Tim Logan can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.