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3M to expand metered dose inhaler production at UK site

By Anthony King , 28-May-2014

3M to expand metered dose inhaler production at UK site

3M Drug Delivery Systems says it will boost capacity for its metered dose inhaler (MDI) division by more than 20 percent at its Loughborough, UK site.

3M partners with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to develop and manufacture pharmaceutical products using 3M’s inhalation, transdermal or microneedle drug delivery technology.

Meter dose inhalers can be used to deliver a wide range of medicines, but they have mainly been used in the treatment of asthma and COPD. 

Asked about why it is expanding its Loughborogh facility, Marcello Napol, VP Inhalation and Conventional Drug Delivery, told that asthma and COPD were growing in prevalence, which was driving global demand for inhalation products.  

He added: “With a number of blockbuster drug patents expiring, and a global focus on reducing the cost of health care delivery, this is also fuelling demand for new, lower cost generic products.”

The investment would “enable 3M to support growth in production for its existing commercial programs as well as newly committed developments. It will also bring the company extra capacity to meet future needs of branded and generic MDI markets,” the firm said in a statement.


Two years ago, the company expanded the capacity of its MDI facility in Northridge, California.

3M Drug Delivery Systems is a global organization and division of 3D; it is a contract development and manufacturing organization for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, covering range of drug delivery technologies.

Loughborough is home to its Inhalation Research and Development Centre of Excellence, where it says many advances in inhaler technology were developed or supported.

Asked about the link between existing commercial programmes and new developments with regards to the Loughborough expansion, Napol said: “3M works very closely with a wide range of pharmaceutical companies across the industry at various stages of product development though to full scale commercial production. However, details of our customers and programmes are classed as business confidential information.”

3M offers a range of development and manufacturing capabilities to assist in delivering produts to market.  The company delivered 6 FDA approvals for MDI poducts in the past six years, a spokesperson noted, all of which were achieved though a single cycle review.  

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