West Pharmaceutical Services says new R&D centre will focus on elastomer formulations and process development for its packaging and delivery tech businesses.
The US firm has not said how much it will spend on expanding the facility in St Petersburg, Florida, but did reveal that mixing, compounding and moulding technologies will be among those added.
VP of business development Fran DeGrazio explained that pharmaceutical industry demand for packaging and delivery techs that meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements for quality and safety was a key motivation for the investment.
“As quality requirements increase, global pharmaceutical manufacturers are seeking early partnerships with packaging manufacturers such as West to help mitigate risk by building quality into the product from research and development through delivery of the drug to the patient."
Expansion of the Florida facility is due to be completed in October this year.
The investment is the second West has made in its manufacturing network this year. In March the packaging and delivery device maker ramped up production capacity for syringe and intravenous system components at its facility in Kinston, North Carolina.
This activity contrasts markedly with West’s activities last year, when the firm announced plans to close a facility in Pennsylvania and sell a plant in Cornwall, UK to reduce its costs and “keep our production capabilities and cost structure in balance with the expected changes in demand.”
The focus on packaging and delivery systems is also in keeping with comments made during West second quarter results presentation last month when it revealed that both business units saw ‘modest’ revenue growth in the period.
“Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems, stronger sales in Europe and Asia more than compensated for customer and product-specific sales declines in North America. Pharmaceutical Delivery Systems growth was due to increased contract manufacturing business and sales of reconstitution devices."