US pharmaceutical firm Proliant says bovine serum albumin will be the first of many products it expects to make at a new plant to be built in New Zealand.
The company expects to open the $24 million premises in 2016.
Proliant supplies about half the world market for bovine serum albumin (BSA) and says it chose to build in New Zealand in case anything happened at its Iowa plant.
Manawatu was selected for the site because of its location in central New Zealand and its proximity to Massey University.
BSA is a serum which is used in diagnostic test kits, vaccines and life science research including stem cell research.
Chief executive Steve Welch said the company's customers are seeking business continuity and want to know that if anything happened to the Iowa plant, they could get the product from a second plant.
Mr Welch said the pharmaceutical industry is very keen to come to New Zealand because of its good disease status and also cattle traceability scheme.
He expects the close relationship Proliant will have with Massey University will lead to new business opportunities for the company.
Mr Welch said BSA is the first of many products Proliant expects to produce in Manawatu.