German glass making giant Gerresheimer has opened a new packaging plant in Danyang, China, further indicating its plans to grow in the world’s fifth largest pharmaceutical market.
The new 16,000 sqm facility, which is situated 250km west of Shanghai at the heart of the region’s pharma manufacturing hub, will make vials and injection cartridges for local and international producers as part of the firm’s Shuangfeng subsidiary.
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) analyst Izabela Listowska told in-PharmaTechnologist that the facility “is an important strategic step not only to be well placed in this promising market but also to optimally serve global customers who favour producers with international presence.
“Gerresheimer is expanding its manufacturing footprint in China to be able to serve other very promising markets in the region,” continued Listowska, adding that S&P “view this expansion strategy as very positive for the credit quality of the company.”
Gerresheimer Shuangfeng currently runs three plants in China, including a second facility in Danyang that is exclusively for the manufacture of pharmaceutical vials, and has more than 150 production lines in operation.
In total Gerresheimer employs 1,500 people in China, and already has six manufacturing facilities producing glass vials, ampoules and syringes for a large number of domestic and international pharmaceutical firms.
Gerresheimer did not respond to a request for additional information.
International growth strategy
Growth in China’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector fits well with the plan outlined by CEO Axel Herberg at Gerresheimer’s annual results presentation in February.
At the time Herberg suggested that: “Even in a phase of worldwide economic downturn, pharmaceutics and life science are still growth markets and, with its broad technology base and worldwide presence, Gerresheimer has a strong position here.”
Gerresheimer’s pharmaceutical division contributed 75 per cent of the firm’s total revenue in 2008 with its ready-to-fill syringes (RTF) business providing the biggest gains by growing 36 per cent.