Evaluating Big Pharma's Manufacturing Investment Plans - Pharmaceutical Executive


Evaluating Big Pharma's Manufacturing Investment Plans
The pharmaceutical majors target biologics and emerging markets in their manufacturing expansion activities and plans.

Pharmaceutical Technology

Roche. Roche is investing CHF 240 million ($257 million) at its facility in Penzberg, Germany to expand raw-material manufacturing for its Elecsy immunoassays, to be completed by the end of 2014, as well as to increase compounding, filling, and lyophilization capacity, which is planned for 2016. At its sites in Basel and Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, Roche is investing approximately CHF 230 million ($246 million). Three projects were completed in 2012: a new pharmaceutical quality control and assurance building, expansion of cold-chain storage capacity, and a filling line upgrade for Herceptin (trastuzumab) subcutaneous formulation. The company is also expanding capacity for high-potency drugs. Additionally, Roche plans to upgrade the filling line for the cephalosporin antibiotic Rocephin (ceftriaxone) throughout 2013 and 2014. In Shanghai, Roche is investing CHF 260 million ($278 million) for ongoing expansion of its pharmaceutical facilities, including new laboratory, warehouse, office and training facilities, to be completed in 2014.

These moves comes as Roche restructures. In 2012, Roche announced that it is closing its R&D facility in Nutley, New Jersey, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. The R&D activities at Nutley are being consolidated at existing sites in Switzerland and Germany and at the planned Translational Clinical Research Center at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan in the United States.

GlaxoSmithKline. In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced it was investing more than 500 million ($767 million) in the United Kingdom across its manufacturing sites, which included selecting Ulverston in Cumbria as the location for the first new GSK manufacturing facility to be built in the UK in almost 40 years. The company also will invest in sites in Montrose and Irvine, Scotland. GSK will locate a new 350-million ($538 million) biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Ulverston, Cumbria. Detailed planning and design of the new facility is underway with an anticipated start date for construction of 2014-2015, dependent on portfolio timing and obtaining necessary planning and related consents. Once construction starts, it is likely to take at least six years before the plant is fully operational, according to GSK.

In June 2013, GSK received an offer from South Africa’s Aspen Holdings/Aspen Pharmacare for its facility in Notre-Dame de Bondeville, France and the associated thrombosis brands manufactured at the site. GSK is also proceeding with plans, announced in February 2013, to improve the competitiveness of its European pharmaceutical business and restructure its manufacturing and R&D operations. The company is targeting to realize annual savings of at least 1 billion ($1.5 billion) by 2016.


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