Albemarle has increased production capacity at its plant in Michigan, citing demand for custom and generic APIs as the driver.
In a statement last month the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based fine chemicals manufacturer said it expanded its plant in South Haven though an investment that “matches the solids handling equipment with the reactor capacity.”
Albemarle claims the number of custom API projects conducted at the site has doubled over the past two years and that the expansion “will enable the company to advance its growing portfolio of custom API products, several of which have progressed to late stage clinical development and pre-registration status.”
This was echoed by spokeswoman Jennifer Vaccaro who told in-pharmatechnologist.com the manufacturing investment will allow Albemarle “to produce more of both our current line of generic APIs as well as give capacity for new custom products.”
She also stressed that the expansion is ‘unrelated’ to the series of price increases Albemarle has enacted over the last few months – the most recent of which took place in May – when asked if it had been - in part - motivated by a desire to make more of the now more costly generic APIs.
Albemarle’s comments about demand from the pharmaceutical sector fit with those it made earlier this year when it reported that its fine chemicals business – which includes its API portfolio – saw revenue increase 7 per cent to $712m.
Speaking in April CEO John Steitz said that “positive trends within our pharmaceutical portfolio” were making Albemarle’s fine chemistry business more profitable.
He attributed this to “The impact of evolving our portfolio towards complex, higher margin, longer duration opportunities was evident during the quarter as operating margins rose impressively” which also fit with the firm’s claims about the growth of it custom API business.
Albemarle is due to report its second quarter financials on July 17.