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Ashland to boost disintegrant capacity at Texas plant

By Gareth Macdonald , 11-Jan-2012
Last updated on 11-Jan-2012 at 13:20 GMT

Ashland says it will ramp up production of the tablet disintegrant and dissolution aid polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVPP) to meet growing drug industry demand.

Ashland will add production capacity at its site in Texas City, Texas, US with the aim of bringing it online late in 2013. The US Specialty chemicals firm operates a second PVPP production plant in Calvert City, Kentucky.

Jeff Wolff, VP Pharma and Nutrition Specialties, said: "Over the next few years, Ashland expects steady growth in PVPP driven by an industry need for formulation ingredients that improve the dissolution of poorly soluble drugs and growth in emerging markets.”

He attributed this to the expanding global population and increasing demand - in both established and emerging markets - for non-branded pharmaceutical products.

Post ISP Pharma growth

The announcement is the first major development at Ashland since it purchased International Specialty Products (ISP) in August last year.

At the time observers predicted that the $3.2bn (EUR2.5bn) acquisition – and the subsequent combination of the firms’ large industrial customer bases - would accelerate Ashland's growth in the pharmaceutical sector.

This point was referenced by Ashland Specialty Ingredients president John Panicella in light of the PVPP expansion .

"We acquired International Specialty Products because of its growth potential and this major capacity expansion demonstrates our positive outlook and our commitment to growing this business.”

Ashland's pharma grade PVPP brand is Polyplasdone, however, it also produces Polyclar for beer and wine producers, which use it a filter aid during production to improve the clarity and stability of their products during shipping and storage.

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