The plant, one of numerous sites on Pfizer's chopping block following the company-wide consolidation drive announced early last year, specialises in oncology products and significantly ups Actavis' capacity for cancer therapeutics. The site is relatively old, originally developed and founded by Farmitalia in 1965, now covering an area approximately 300,000 square metres and approved by EU, US and Japanese regulators. Actavis will continue operations at the site, making use of the 'broad manufacturing capabilities' at the plant to meet anticipated demand for its oncology products, as well as landing an exclusive multi-year agreement to supply cancer therapeutics to Pfizer. "This transaction will enable us to meet the exciting growth projections we see for our oncology product portfolio over the coming years," said Actavis CEO Robert Wessman. "There is [also] significant capacity to support our future plans, together with space for new investment in complementary development and manufacturing activities." Actavis plans to use the site to develop new products and transfer existing products to the Nerviano site over the next few years, and will liaise closely with the Icelandic firm's Bucharest operations that also develop and manufacture oncology products. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of this month, expanding Actavis' network of manufacturing sites to 22 plants in 14 countries. Actavis has only recently started to bulk up its presence in the Italian market, last month announcing that it had marketed it first own-brand product in the country.
Italy represents the fourth largest European pharmaceutical market served by the company, with the generics market in the country apparently expanding at double-digit rates in recent years. The addition of a local manufacturing site is therefore likely to help the firm supply this growing market more efficiently, as well as beefing up manufacturing capacity for the company as a whole. "Actavis has the scale to support a price conscious Italian market and more importantly the high quality products that Italians require," said Actavis executive vice president of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, Svend Andersen in December.
"We expect to launch 74 products next year and will support it by full infrastructure and sales force."